IZ*ONE, a project group introduced through Mnet’s Produce 48, is talking about possibly extending its activities. Amid the discussions between CJ ENM and the respective agencies, criticisms are expected.
According to a media outlet, CJ ENM has met with some of the IZ*ONE members’ respective agencies recently to discuss the contract in earnest. Some members have reportedly confirmed their wish to stay as IZ*ONE members and are preparing to extend a promotion contract with CJ ENM. If the contract is completed, it would be the first case of the Produce series groups to choose a new path instead of disbanding.
However, the process of formally extending the contract is not expected to be so smooth. CJ ENM intends to back up IZ*ONE by considering them as a victim of the manipulation, but this alone lacks justification of the extension to persuade the public who were shocked by vote manipulation.
One insider hinted about the situation, saying, “Outwardly, IZ* ONE’s contract comes to an end in April, but internally, we reached an agreement to wrap up all activities on Dec 31, 2020. The decision was made due to various situations, such as the production team being arrested and the contract for the dorm shared by members ending in December 2020.” Therefore, the agencies that planned new activities after the disbandment of IZ*ONE in 2021 were disconcerted by CJ ENM’s sudden proposal for renewal of the contract.
Supposedly, CJ ENM is said to have prepared a new contract by respecting the agencies’ decisions.