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SBS sajaegi show blasted by bands

Jan 06,2020
Entertainment agencies featured in a Saturday episode of SBS’s “We Want To Know” dealing with online chart cheating criticized the program’s producers and vowed Sunday to take necessary measures to clear their names.

SBS’s 90-minute program, which aired on Saturday evening, dealt with the sajaegi scandal, where singers and agencies are suspected of having streamed their songs multiple times with fake IDs get them higher on the charts. The program had a 5.5 percent viewership rating.

The program dealt with popular rumors and suspicions, such as how rookies or ballad singers with fan bases smaller than big-name K-pop stars could reach No. 1 on streaming charts, while their meet-and-greet events were almost empty.

Rock band Sultan of the Disco and rapper Tiger JK came out in person and said that sajaegi strategies had been suggested to them and that the practice did indeed exist.

Pledis Entertainment of boy band Nu’est demanded a formal apology from the producers, who said the company has rigged the charts. The agency said it had “not committed any sort of illegal or unfair deed,” according to the agency.

“We demand a full apology and edit of the program for having the artists - who are absolutely irrelevant to the scandal - seem like they are under the suspicion of sajaegi,” Pledis said.

Major9 also spoke out. The agency to singers Song Ha-yea, Ben and duo Vibe released a statement on Sunday saying that producers of the show only aired parts of their interview that made them look like they rigged charts, leaving the important explanations out.

“We talked for six hours and 30 minutes for an interview with the producers on Dec. 19 at our office, showing them a presentation of 311 pages,” the agency said.

“Of that, only three pages made it to the show, which made it look like we rigged the charts.”

The agency added that it is ready to provide anyone with its data to clear its name.

“We do not deny the existence of sajaegi, and we agree that such deeds need to be rooted out. We will take part in all actions to do so.”

By Yoon So-yeon