The controversy surrounding Ahn Joon-young, the PD of "Produce 101" who served time for manipulating audition results, continues to grow as he considers leaving the company shortly after rejoining Mnet.

Mnet rehired Ahn Joon-young after he served time for manipulating the results of several seasons of "Produce 101," citing his "desperate determination" as the reason for re-employment. However, as public opinion boils over, reports suggest that Ahn Joon-young is now considering leaving the company once again, much to the amusement of the audience.

Ahn Joon-young was found guilty of manipulating the rankings of trainees in all seasons of "Produce 101" by altering the results of paid viewer votes, and encouraging viewers to participate in the paid text voting, which resulted in substantial profits. He was also found guilty of accepting millions of won in entertainment from some agency representatives participating in "Produce 101," and was sentenced to two years in prison and fined around KRW 37 million. Ahn fought the sentence up to the Supreme Court, citing unfair punishment, but ultimately served his two-year term as the court did not accept his appeal.

Ahn Joon-young, who was released from prison in November 2021, returned to Mnet's music business division, which produced the entire "Produce 101" series, after about a year and five months of silence. CJ ENM, which promised to "take full responsibility for the manipulation and compensate all victims," fulfilled their responsibility by taking Ahn Joon-young back in-house.

However, even within CJ ENM, there is uproar over Ahn Joon-young's re-employment. Amidst the company's ongoing restructuring due to record revenue declines and losses, some employees feel betrayed that a "criminal" is being rehired while others face pressure to leave the company. An anonymous insider told Sports TV News, "The company's atmosphere is not good, especially with this incident happening amidst an already difficult situation."

As the situation worsens, rumors have emerged that Ahn Joon-young is considering leaving the company just two days after rejoining. Mnet has issued an unusual apology, admitting that their decision to rehire Ahn Joon-young was a mistake. The quick release of an apology statement suggests that CJ ENM is aware of the severity of public opinion.

Mnet acknowledged their wrongdoing, stating, "The decision to give him a chance to make up for his past mistakes did not meet society's standards for fairness." They further apologized to those disappointed by the decision and vowed to prevent similar incidents in the future by humbly accepting their shortcomings regarding their hiring standards.

However, Mnet remains vague on Ahn Joon-young's future, only stating that it is "under discussion." Some speculate that the overwhelming public opposition may make it difficult for Ahn to work within Mnet.

The situation is undeniably absurd, with both parties appearing foolish. Although the repercussions of the scandal were predictable, both sides have found themselves in a situation where Ahn Joon-young is reconsidering his employment just two days after rejoining the company.

To recover their reputation for fairness, Mnet and CJ ENM have been making efforts, including verifying voting results in their currently airing show 'Boys Planet' through Samil PwC, a member of the PwC network that oversees the Academy Awards. While some viewers remain skeptical about Mnet and CJ ENM continuing their audition programs, there is a growing number of people who believe that the dreams of young talents should be supported and are gradually turning their attention to these hopefuls' journeys.

In the midst of this, CJ ENM and Mnet have inadvertently damaged their own reputation. It is regrettable that their hasty decision-making has led to such a rapid change of stance, leaving them to deal with the consequences of their actions. As the saga unfolds, both the company and the public will be keeping a close eye on how this situation is resolved and what it means for the future of Mnet and its talent programs.