A contestant on the reality survival TV program "Produce 101" Season 2 has decided to withdraw from the show and his agency, after he was accused of sexual harassment.
Ha Min Ho, who was picked as No. 47 among the 60 chosen in the first elimination on May 5, is now out of "Produce 101" after screenshots of his supposed conversations with fans of minor age on Instagram were uploaded online and were deemed as sexual in nature.
In one conversation, Ha Min Ho and a fan exchanged the following messages, according to Soompi:
Ha Min Ho: I'm not doing anything. Are you going to come?
Fan: Should I go? Haha, but what are we going to do?
Ha Min Ho: Umm. It's a bit dangerous because it's at my house. If you don't want anything like that, you might be better off not coming!
Fan: Then going to your house is a bit [too much]. Can we meet later outside?
Ha Min Ho: Umm, if I meet anyone outside, I'll get caught. Yesterday, [I met] Dojoon and Sunjae...
The Vibe Label, his agency, issued a statement regarding the controversy. The agency apologized to the fans, trainees and crew of the program.
The note read: "We sincerely apologize to those who have suffered. After discussing directly with Ha Min Ho, it was decided that he would get out of 'Produce 101' Season 2 and to terminate his contract with the company."
It said that Ha Min Ho is deeply reflecting on the fact that he caused a controversy while being a trainee, but clarified that when he changed his account name to Yoo Seon-ho, it was not intended to imitate the name of Cube Entertainment trainee Yoo Seon-ho, but it's a name of his friend.
"In the future, The Vibe Label will do our best to manage trainees Kim Tae-dong and Seong Hyun-woo to prevent such incidents in the future and we apologize to all those who have been hurt by this," the label said.
In the last four rounds of competition on "Produce 101," Ha Min Ho ranked 50th in the first, then went down to 60th and settled for 47th place during the first elimination.
With his exit, The Vibe Label is left with two trainees in the TV program. Kim Tae-dong and Yoon Jae-chan also made it to the Top 60, ranking 25th and 59th, respectively.