KBS found guilty of music show manipulation favoring LE SSERAFIM over Lim Young-woong

Seoul police confirms KBS producers manipulated scores (Image via YouTube/KBS WORLD TV)
Seoul police confirms KBS producers manipulated scores (Image via YouTube/KBS WORLD TV)

The Seoul Yeongdung-po police station found KBS guilty of chart manipulation in favor of LE SSERAFIMโ€™s Music Bank win against Lim Young-woong, a highly popular trot and ballad singer, on August 24. The police investigated KBSโ€™ evidence of the scoring criteria of the Music Bank broadcast on May 13 and found inconsistencies.

The discrepancy was first noticed when HYBEโ€™s rookie group LE SSERAFIMโ€™s FEARLESS won against South Koreaโ€™s most popular trot and ballad singer, Lim Young-woong's, If We Ever Meet Again on May 13.

Viewers noticed a huge gap in broadcast points. While FEARLESS received 5348 points, If We Ever Meet Again had zero points.

Music Bank winners are determined by calculating various data points. These include digital music charts, album sales, the number of KBS channel broadcasts, audience score, and social media.

Viewers pointed out the gap, mentioning that it was close to impossible for Lim Young-woong to receive zero points in the broadcast category. They demanded that KBS release their method of calculating broadcast points.

Netizens criticize HYBE after police find KBS guilty of rigging scores of Lim Young-woong vs LE SSERAFIM

Le sserafim got their 2nd win for 'FEARLESS' today at Music Bank! No one really expect this and you can see the genuine shock from the girls but anyways we are so proud of them! Congratulations @IM_LESSERAFIM !๐Ÿ’ฏ#LESSERAFIM2ndWin#FEARLESS2ndWin@le_sserafim @IM_LESSERAFIM

The Music Bank broadcast on May 13 became a hot topic on multiple online forums, particularly in South Korea. Contending for the No. 1 position and the music show win were LE SSERAFIM with their debut single FEARLESS and Lim Young-woongโ€™s with his newest release, If We Ever Meet Again.


The K-pop community was in disbelief when FEARLESS took home the win. The months-long speculation of KBS abusing its power to favor HYBEโ€™s girl group turned out to be true on August 24.

Many netizens criticized the network company and also accused HYBE of bribing the KBS producers and buying the win. However, a few netizens commented that the network channel has had similar controversies before.

K-netizens comments regarding the police investigation (Image via theqoo)
K-netizens comments regarding the police investigation (Image via theqoo)
@pannchoa The same company that buys everything and everyone, from media to music shows. No surprises, I knew hybe had to do with these manipulations next weโ€™ll find that they โ€˜boughtโ€™ dispatch too
@stankpopislife @pannchoa So its hybe lol๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ
@pannchoa wooseok vs taeyeonkep1er vs nayeonfromis 9 vs nayeonlaboum vs iubut lesserafim the only ones that got the lashings when most of boygroups these days that cant even break into kcharts could win easily against digimons on music bank bcs of broadcast points

How did the KBS LE SSERAFIM and Lim Young-woong controversy start?


After the May 13 win at Music Bank, while LE SSERAFIM's fandom celebrated the news, a major chunk of the internet speculated about a discrepancy in the broadcast points. Overall, the girl group recorded 7881 points, and the ballad singer was a close second with 7035 points.

Viewers rallied, demanding KBS become transparent with their broadcast point calculations. Lim Young-woong is an incredibly famous singer (who placed seventh in Forbes Korea's 2022 Power Celebrity) and it was unlikely for him to earn zero points.

As the controversy worsened, KBS shared a statement saying that If We Ever Meet Again was not broadcast on any radio, KBS TV, or digital content. However, fans dug up past website data to unearth that it was untrue.

Moreover, Lim Young-woongโ€™s fandom has long been acknowledged as the one fandom that no K-pop groupโ€™s fans could ever beat.

@taeissogood @dailynaver Bruh even top 2/3 kpop groups votes combined might not be able to beat him
@taeissogood @dailynaver You underestimated the guy who swiped bts and exoโ€™s fans in minutes you obviously a company stan at this point hahaha

In a past fan voting award, the trot singer went against two of the biggest boy groups, BTS and EXOโ€™s fandoms. The two fandoms combined could not beat the trot singer, which is a memory still fresh in the K-pop communityโ€™s minds.

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Edited by Babylona Bora
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