New law to crack down on pubescent flesh on TV, in videos

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New law to crack down on pubescent flesh on TV, in videos

A new law will be passed to prevent underage celebrities from showing too much flesh on television shows, magazines and in music videos.

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family submitted a bill yesterday to the National Assembly to add an article to the youth protection law. Under the new article, if a media outlet shows too much of an underage performer’s naked flesh - including breasts or buttocks - and causes viewers to feel “shame,” the show or product will be labeled “harmful to teens.”

“If a television program is defined as ‘harmful media,’ it can’t be aired from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” said Kim Seong-byeok, an official at the ministry.

If a magazine or music video is labeled “harmful to teens” it can’t be sold.

“We expect broadcasting companies not to air or produce this kind of material anymore,” the official said.

The ministry coordinated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korea Communications Commission and the Fair Trade Commission. The new article will also be included in broadcasting regulations.

“Because idol singing groups have recently gotten popular, the number of underage celebrities is increasing rapidly,” an official at the ministry said. “But the youth protection law simply couldn’t catch up and didn’t protect underage celebrities well enough.”

The Youth Policy Analysis and Evaluation Center interviewed 85 underage celebrities from July 21 to Aug. 5 and found that 10.2 percent said they revealed their bodies partly or were forced to do immodest acts such as kissing or hugging with other guests on TV shows.

The young celebrities also said their studies suffered because of heavy performing schedules. According to the center’s statistics, 47.6 percent of respondents said they skipped more than half of their classes.

The government is now planning more regulations to protect underage celebrities, including guaranteeing fair contracts with agencies and protecting their rights for education and health.


By Shin Sung-sik, Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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