If K-pop had a villain, then the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF) would be the big bad wolf.
It’s always a-huffin’ and a-puffin’ about something and pissing off a lot of teenagers is it’s favorite pastime. But why do they go so far to ban songs; sometimes on a seemingly ridiculous basis? Let’s take a look at the official reasons first. This is the “Vision and Core Tasks of the Family Policy:”
Sounds pretty daunting, yes? They also give the factors behind the destruction of youth:
Increasing environmental factor that intimidates sound growth of the youth
-Increasing harmful media with violent and obscene contents and the expanding addiction to the Internet game-
The rate of youth drinking and smoking increases and the number of publications harmful to the youth also increases.
※ The rate of youth drinking in the middle school and high school: 36% in 2005 →53.7% in 2008, youth smoking : 8.8% in 2005 → 10.8% in 2008
-Increasing cases of sexual crime, violence in the school and abuse against the youth
※ Number of sexual crimes against the youth: 5,460(cases) in 2007 → 6,339 in 2008 → 6,782 in 2009 (National Police Agency)
※ Those under 13 years old among the victims of sexual crimes against the youth : 23.1% in 2004 → 32.7% in 2007 (Korean Institute of Criminology)
-Weakened physical and mental health caused by declined basic physical strength and severe stress
Certainly, with all these problems in mind, it’s no wonder that they restrict what media is accessible to youth. Their goal, regarding the media, is to “Build [an] environment for healthy growth of youth.” This is how they plan to do it:
Early Detection of Youth’s Addiction to Internet and to Expand the Treatment and Support
Expanded implementation of complete enumeration survey to find and diagnose youth’s addiction to the Internet earlier
To provide comprehensive services including preventive education, counseling, treatment for each stage of risk of addiction
To push ahead the improvement of system to remove youth’s addiction to Internet game
– Prohibition of providing game in the midnight (0:00～6:00 a.m.), parental agreement on youth’s joining game site, obligatory notification to the parents on their children’s game using records (passed the Gender Equality and Family, Committee of National Assembly)
To enhance the power to confront the environment harmful to youth such as addiction to Internet
– To propagate YP (youth patrol) activity program
– To foster parents and teachers’ leadership to encourage the use of sound media
To Enhance the Monitoring of Environment and Media Harmful to the Youth
Extension of youth protection time at broadcasting in the morning hours (Oct) to block the environment harmful to youth.
– 07~09am and 13~22pm (weekdays), 07am~22pm (Sat, holidays, vacation period)
To strengthen the monitoring environment harmful to the youth in the cyber space
To strengthen social control system against youth drinking and smoking
– Monitoring illegal stores that sell liquor and tobacco to the youth
– To expand general survey on youth’s contact on the harmful environment
To Enhance Language Purification and Personality Education for the Youth
Establishment of the「Plan to Enhance Language Purification and Personality Education for the Youth」(August)
– Based on the survey on the imprecations spoken by the youth (Sep～Nov), the relevant departments will establish “Comprehensive Countermeasure” in cooperation (～ December)
To conclude business agreement of「Keeping Gentle Language of the Youth」with Korea Communications Commission and 3 broadcasting stations (October 8) and to push forward the joint campaign to purify youth’s language.
Just reading this, I can tell just why a lot of songs were banned. However, many songs do slip through the cracks. The MOGEF is often accused of having double standards when it comes to female pop stars, but they are not alone. Korea’s top three broadcasting companies, KBS, SBS, and MBC, also ban k-pop music videos and even certain choreography from appearing on television.
There is SO much information on this topic and several sub-topics; so over time, I will expand this series so everyone will have a deeper, more informed understanding of the MOGEF, the broadcasting companies, and the challenges artists and their labels face.
Please look forward to it!