IZ*ONE postpones album release amid scandal
K-pop girl group IZ*ONE has postponed the release of their new album in the wake of vote-rigging allegations surrounding “Produce 48,” the competition show whence the group was formed.
“Off the Record, the management agency of IZ*ONE, has decided to delay the release of the group’s first full-length album, originally scheduled for Nov. 11, out of respect for the opinions of fans,” cable channel Mnet, which runs the K-pop competition show, said in a press release on Thursday.
“We also decided to put off the broadcasting of IZ*ONE’s comeback show to be aired on the same day on Mnet and other digital channels,” it added.
The agency apologized for the abrupt cancellation of the program and requested a pause on speculations about the 12-member group.
IZ*ONE was formed last year with nine members from Korea and three from Japan through “Produce 48,” the fourth season of Mnet’s flagship audition show in which fans vote for their favorites.
The group, however, became the focus of suspicions when talent agencies and the show’s producers were accused of engaging in voting fraud.
Earlier this week, the main producer of the audition series was arrested on charges of rigging votes and receiving kickbacks in exchange for the manipulation. He admitted to his involvement in manipulating votes on the TV series in 2019 and 2018.
Authorities have been widening the scope of their investigation into the show’s previous seasons, as well as another Mnet audition show, “Idol School.”