• http://twitter.com/lillian23910 Sharon

    All I can say is R.I.P hallyu wave. 

    There are other problems too. MVs get released late, comebacks get pushed back, etc. This really hurts international fans. All I can say is Im not just angry, Im pissed. South Korea, u dont want our money? Fine by me. I will just go back to ripping all the songs for free. and I wont make the extra effort to watch any of ur music videos on ur official sites. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

    Only here for the beautiful Mirotic era picture. Seriously DBSK’s best concept, looks-wise. Everybody looked great and totally UNF-worthy, even Yoochun with his weird-ass haircut.

    • kelliusmaximus

       Same reason I’m here, I don’t have much to say except that Mirotic was basically porn and a great time in kpop

  • Khaddie

    This is one of the occasions where the pros make little difference. Yes, fans won’t have to deal with adjusting to new choreography or edits, but what about respect for the creator of this material? No matter how frivolous or shallow the material is, it is someone’s brainchild and a few people on a board are telling them to change it. While idols are very profit driven and their companies may be a bit more flexible with changes to maximise profit, what about everyone else? Not sure if this measure applies to them, but what about when people like Nell and Epik High release material? Heck, what about Brown Eyed Girls even? And there have even been instances where the companies of idols (Cube with Beast if I remeber correctly) opposed the changes and appealed against them. How are they going to develop into anything other than 3 second singers that some see them as when they are restricted at every turn?

    I understand the need to limit the accessibility of some material. I understand that it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to protect children from some things that they shouldn’t be exposed to at young ages that they are in this day and age because of how easy it is to find stuff on the Internet. I’m not a parent, but I think most people can empathise with their position. But I find it difficult to defend this proposed policy. It doesn’t help that others like the MOGEF has proven to have incredibly flimsy standards and ban things for the strangest of reasons. I wouldn’t be that bothered if they were atleast consistent, but they are not. Sometimes it just feels like they tape a bunch of names to a dartboard and ban whatever the arrow ends up on. Be consistent, make sense. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so annoying. There are so many contradictions in what is allowed and what gets banned that they lose credibility. If they use the same standards that they use for banning songs, videos are going to have to be modified for the strangest of reasons like a smudge on the face that promotes or encourages unhygienic living or something.

    And like others have said, what about the effect it has on Halleyu? For a country that are increasingly using these exports as a form of soft power as far as I have seen, they’re not helping themselves. Also, if this is implemented, what happens to those who don’t want have their videos screened? Will they be forced to, or told they are not allowed to upload them online? Good luck with that.

  • Paloma

    I honestly can’t see any pros in censorship; there’s a big difference between portraying some kind of behaviour and promoting it, and the mistake is considering pop culture as some kind of moral guide. It’s not the duty of K-pop producers to educate childs and teens, and although it’s normal that everything they watch and listen to influences them, it’s eventually their parents who are in charge of their education and should put limits to what they want their children to watch, in case. 
    So drinking is legal, clubbing is legal, and every sexual behaviour that can be portrayed in a MV (promiscuity, homosexuality, BDSM…) is not only legal but not morally reprehensible anymore, so censorship is quite hypocrital in the end. Or maybe I’m too open-minded and was raised when internet was only used for emails…Anyways and as usual, nice article Nabeela. We’ll have to wait and see what’s the result of all this, maybe if you don’t know what you’re missing you don’t feel like you’re missing something…

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie


     Sure, when DBSK’s “Mirotic” was ruled as far too sexual for public airtime, in terms of broadcasts of the MV and live performances, which later forced the group to the change the chorus, I was upset (I mean, back in our early high school days, my friends and I were so excited to watch the Mirotic MV for the first we accidentally broke a chair).

    …This is hilariously awesome. >___<

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Naomi-Bensen/1066517971 Naomi Bensen

    When I first read the proposition for the “MV screening” all I wanted to do was start laughing. I found the idea so ridiculous in a lot of ways, that I at first, honestly thought it was a joke. Yet, it’s not. I have several issues with the act even being presented.

    MOGEF constantly says that they are protecting impressionable youth, and upholding a certain sort of decorum, and I do get that. It makes sense that a country that is very centered around saving face and making sure that at least your outward appearance and attitude is respectable that as K-pop expands to more of a global audience, that they expect Korean artists to represent Korea well. But I think that censoring music does little to enhance ones experience or views of Korea. Music is meant to be listened to in the way that the ARTIST intended. Not by MOGEF a group of faceless men/women that most Koreans probably know nothing about their values, biases, and motives.  It’s hard for me to trust artistic integrity and sense to a presumably small group of people that have full power to veto something. Everyone is biased in some way or another and in the past we’ve seen excellent examples of MOGEF allowing some things to pass and denying others. The reasoning for why they do each is flimsy at best. If this was more of a national consensus that saying, “Yes, we really do believe this is harmful to show fellow Koreans and also the rest of the global community” I would feel a lot more okay with this idea. That would probably never happen, just because it’s completely inefficient. But it still doesn’t make sense to me to give so much power to so few, to decide on something that isn’t a concrete concept. 

    I don’t necessarily agree with MOGEF to censor what is seen on TV, but I do accept it to a certain extent because it is Korean television played in Korea. But when you start to screen MV’s and films that are seen not only in Korea but all over the world it’s completely (in my mind) an overstep in terms of exerting power. It breaches the rights of artists to post what they want, when they want, without the fear of repercussions. I think it’s also fair to think about not only K-pop artists who will be affected but also other genres of music. How will this affect those who do not have the means to possibly fight a ruling for their music/music videos? A lot of K-pop fans say that they like K-pop music because it is ‘clean’ and ‘wholesome’ but I think that having those standards pressed onto other artists is not only a disservice to them as creative people, but can really seriously stop the flow of thoughts and ideas. 

    One of my favorite quotes on censorship that I think about when I hear about these sort of situations (not only in Korea, but North America, Britain etc. ) 
    “The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, a kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.” 

    I’ve seen this so often in the U.S. with films, that nudity = bad, saying the f-word = bad, and we need to censor that, but then showing violence without repercussions = fine, and showing abuse without explanation = fine. Though K-pop is on a different tier of censorship, I think it follows the same thread when we tell others, sex = bad, showing girls as both cute pubescent girls and sexy hip thrusting women = fine. Showing belly buttons = bad, having hemlines that are two inches below the crotch = fine. 

    When we censor someone we take away the ability for a nation to decide whether they want to watch/comment on that particular piece of music. It’s basically saying that, “Sorry, you’re not fit enough to make your own decisions, so we’ll do it for you”. 

    TL:DR Censorship is often illogical in it’s means of judgment and is not representative of a nations actually beliefs in what should be shown. 

    /rant over. 

  • AshBradford

    I honestly didn’t think I would run into an article that passive aggressively promoted censorship, but damn! Here it is. I really don’t see how you can promote this is any way shape or form. Who cares if people get annoyed when things are changed after the fact? It’s far better than never having them in the first place.
    Also, I think you kind of missed the big issue here. This is a massive social step backward. Logically you would assume that rather than what is happening with this law, people would slowly start to be more comfortable with the mature themes and the level of censorship would go down over time. For instance, when I compare what words were bleeped on N.American TV when I was younger to what’s bleeped now, there’s a huge difference. There are a huge number of low level swears that have made it off the naughty list somehow. Hell, in Canada where I’m from, one of our 3 big networks (CTV) likes to show things like the Sopranos completely uncensored in any way. That’s a massive change over how things used to be.
    The increase in censorship for K-Pop is really disturbing because it’s basically a creeping removal of rights. It’s even worse because it has nothing to do with TV. To an extent, I understand TV being censored because it’s being put out there for everyone to see in a bigger way. On the internet you have to go look things up. Honestly, I don’t understand what the ratings board is thinking. If ‘impressionable young folk’ want to see naughty videos, they can just choose any random western singer and get a complete eyeful. The only way to stop that from happening would be to start restricting what all people could access on the internet, and then you end up with something like the ‘great firewall of China’. There are too many creepy real world things like that that are attached to internet censorship, which is why even slightly entertaining the idea of heading in that direction is so horribly horribly wrong.
    There are no pros to this new law. None. Please don’t pretend there are.

  • 271828

    Abracadabra was so sexy. Dunno what’s Korea’s problem – who doesn’t like suggestive homosexual and BDSM themes? Mirotic…I guess I can’t say it WASN’T sexy but I dunno just didn’t do it for me. Not a big fan of the blazer with no shirt underneath look.

    Censorship is stupid.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

      The censorship in “Mirotic” wasn’t about the choreography or the concept though. It was about the lyrics. They had to change “under my skin” with “under my SKY” whenever they had to appear on live television before 10 pm. That’s why their Golden Disk Awards performance had that version while their MKMF performance had the original version.

  • http://readunderthetree.wordpress.com/ anonymousFan

    I agree with what most people have said but i had to rant:

    This is just riling me up! sure, box your idols, not just the idols, why not box every single indie group, hip-hop group and anyone who wants to create. While you are in the process, why not create a booklet of allowed dances, and a booklet of allowed words that can be used. Also make sure every single song and video praises the country and shows a “good face”, no thinking outside the box! lest someone attempt to make a social commentary, or something mature/thought provoking. 
    You know, music is a consumer product that has to measured, quantified and the standard of quality has to be maintained so that “just as every bar of Dove soap is going to be the same”,  “every Korean song must be standardized to protect our audience in their cocoon.” The audiences are all ignorant, 13-year old innocents who will believe whatever a music video says and have no sense of curiosity, and the musicians/artists are just soulless zombies who will *wink, pout, wiggle* and remain within the box. The ideal flagship song of the MOGEF could be “Elastic, zombotronic, electric, bombastic….nanana…. oppa oppa….fantastic” , and we will very soon have a “double plus good” song. 

    Yes, maintaining age-appropriate ratings/standards are essential, but censoring every single music video that goes on youtube is just a stupid waste of time and money. MOGEF, if you have that much time on your hands, go educate people on black-face, or do something about sexual harassment or domestic violence. But no, you would rather sing about korean exceptionalism and maintain “face” while you go ahead and mechanize whatever’s left under that “face”. Music and artists have become commodities after all…

  • http://readunderthetree.wordpress.com/ anonymousFan

    I agree with what most people have said but i had to rant:

    This is just riling me up! sure, box your idols, not just the idols, why not box every single indie group, hip-hop group and anyone who wants to create. While you are in the process, why not create a booklet of allowed dances, and a booklet of allowed words that can be used. Also make sure every single song and video praises the country and shows a “good face”, no thinking outside the box! lest someone attempt to make a social commentary, or something mature/thought provoking. 
    You know, music is a consumer product that has to measured, quantified and the standard of quality has to be maintained so that “just as every bar of Dove soap is going to be the same”,  “every Korean song must be standardized to protect our audience in their cocoon.” The audiences are all ignorant, 13-year old innocents who will believe whatever a music video says and have no sense of curiosity, and the musicians/artists are just soulless zombies who will *wink, pout, wiggle* and remain within the box. The ideal flagship song of the MOGEF could be “Elastic, zombotronic, electric, bombastic….nanana…. oppa oppa….fantastic” , and we will very soon have a “double plus good” song. 

    Yes, maintaining age-appropriate ratings/standards are essential, but censoring every single music video that goes on youtube is just a stupid waste of time and money. MOGEF, if you have that much time on your hands, go educate people on black-face, or do something about sexual harassment or domestic violence. But no, you would rather sing about korean exceptionalism and maintain “face” while you go ahead and mechanize whatever’s left under that “face”. Music and artists have become commodities after all…

  • AcadiasFire

    I think the whole thing is ridiculous. Now that I think about it, what will happen to Phantom. 19 song was a huge f*** you to MOGEF…in my opinion anyway. They really like to be creative with what they do and I really like them for that.

  • BishieAddict

    I say they should just “leak” a noncensored vers. Can’t stop leaks.

  • mybiasbeatsyourbias

    I think after reading comments. Some people can not express whether its the fact each mv is going through a pre-screen test which delays viewership or that MOGEF has failed to develop a rating system guidelines of content. I’m gonna assume most people here come from the United States. I’m gonna assume that everyone who is from U.S is well aware we have censorship laws that have been enforce for a couple of decades thanks to Tripper Gore.
    Censorship here is the reason why we have G PG PG-13 NC-17 AND Rated R to adult ratings for pornography and addtional on games. These censorship laws effect our web,games, music,movie, and TV shows. Even how we purchase them.
    For example anyone under the age of 18 can not buy a Rated R films or games label M for Mature. If they are a minor then someone who is of legal age much purchase along with them. Same for going to the movies.
    There are laws in Korean that has the same effect. But what is consider for a more mature audience may have some international and native fans a little piss off.
    But I assure you American artists just like Korean artists go through pre-screen testing before YouTube and releasing of any music. Certain content on YT is age restricted base upon that nations standards. Music is filter the same way.
    Nick Minaj “Bees In A Trap” is restricted so that anyone under a certain age bracket can or can not watch it. The same with Pusha T and Kanye West “Mercy” but having two verison of the song for the MV. We have this in all music were there is a censor and uncensor. This was the agreement between artists and the U.S government. Yes these artists are protected by the first admenment. But not all content should be seen or heard by the public because certain people within the public,minors, will not fully understand the content. You wouldn’t show a porno to a eight year-old or somethine like Lady Gags’s “Alejandro.” They wouldn’t understand what was going on.
    So the compromise was parental advisory stickers and clean versions of cds as well non. To developing a rating system of allow view content base upon age and the ability to process.
    The music industry agree to allow censorship as an option as well pre-screening before mvs. This rating system was created from that to protect the first admenment right and to control morality within the media.
    You ever wonder why when you sign up for an account like gmail or YouTube and they ask for age. Its to insucre these filter censorship are in play as you browse using the internet and viewing media content. Of course there are loop holes and not all get censor. But don’t ever think for a second the stuff you watch and buy wasn’t prescreen prior to its release. Even the United States entertainment industry enforce the same laws in Korea. The only difference is that our laws are far more better in defining and allowing option verse absolute dictation.
    Suk should be fighting for a compormise between the music industry and the government. I think he is being rather over dramatic and his repsonse is harldy ignoble to began with. He seems more angry at the delays than anything else. Which shows he is willing to play this game. He doesn’t like that it can be time consuming. If he was a wiser man he would look at the U.S censorship laws agreements and see if there is a way to compormise this instead of instigating public support. Battle like this one through organization and the pin.
    Korea music industry is so far behind both ethic practices and morally as well legally. If kpop continues westward the laws and practices of Korean music industry needs to change as quickly as it’s populairty. I am a firm believer you must take care of home first before you explore unknow soil. I think fans need to see this in long run and how kpop is being set up for a massive downfall. Its not important that kpop groups become global. Its important that they have a stable home base to return to when the rest of world is no longer inetrested. This censorship pre-screening,lawsuits against SM entertainment and the questionable legal protection for entertainers and their employees condition to labor and wager abuse. Control of captilism,exploitation and copyrights. Are important pillers in the music industry. If these pillars are to weak to support expansion then your industry is doom to fail.

  • ArielLM13

    But how would they go about implementing this online? Do they make a law that says “you can not upload a video with such and such content within south korea?” I mean what you post online is usually viewable to most countries right? So just because it’s banned in korea doesn’t mean banned in USA or canada or europe right? So by that logic, couldn’t said video be uploaded within another country anyway and then it’s content would be legal. Still how can one country regulate what goes on the internet? I thought that was up to the websites. If you don’t want a kid seeing an inappropriate MV then put 18 or older lock on it. YG has one on Seungri strong baby MV. 

  • Literati Tempo

    This is how censorship works. It happens everyday you have to find barriers in order to push through them. And yes just like laws barriers are necessary evils. Just like YG mentioned a while ago crazy hair colors were censored (can you even imagine that now). As long as the industry changes and progresses what is and what is not allowed is going to come into question. It’s just how the system works, we may not agree with the laws but they are in place for a reason. The heads will sit down push and shove mold and change until the laws fit the time. I can remember when bitch was a word never heard on American radio, now we have songs where it’s featured highlighted even.

    In old Hollywood men and women couldn’t lie down in the same room together now we have an entire series (twillight) based around how a 16 yr old girl is ready to give it up to a man 200+ years older than her, despite her half-nekkid friend’s objection about the matter. While I think S.Korea’s ban standards are a little high at the same time I can’t expect them to jump from the level they are at and match my foreign tastes. Even as a watcher of kpop over this short amount of time (since 08) I can see the progress/changes they’ve made. The ammount on underage thrusting for example has gotten to dangerously high levels. Maybe it would do them some good to use the 15+ level a bit more, it’s not always adult or everyone. MV’s could use a bit more wiggle room.