November 11, 2015
Here’s a topic we’ve wanted to do for a while now. Censorship in Korea. We’ve talked about Korea’s Internet Censorship before, but this is TV we’re talking about, and the rules are different. And while banning that happens to Kpop videos via different networks and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Families is neither consistent or transparent, I think the rules we see for the KOCSC are easier to understand, even if we don’t agree with some of them. Though not everything is easy to understand. Head over to their website and the list is confusing in many ways. What’s Bizarrerie? What’s “the others?” Whut?
For the life of us, though, we’re still thoroughly confused with the blurring of brands and products in Korea. It’s really intense, for starters, and distracting in many ways, but the logic for allowing product placements is baffling. In all of the research we’ve done and discussions we’ve had, we couldn’t get an answer that makes sense to us, so I’m hoping someone here could make more sense of it for me.
From what I understand, Korean Broadcasting isn’t allowed to show products because it unfairly makes people want to buy things, but it’s considered fair when that product pays to be shown, because then that would be…fair? Or that would be a natural use of the product? What is the logic behind this? How does allowing paid product placements in broadcasting protect the interests of the public? I’d actually argue that it doesn’t protect its interests, as it’s unnatural and inauthentic. On the other hand, the products that are blurred on television are the most naturally used, because they’re not paid for, which means that they’re intentionally used of people’s own volition. Isn’t that better to show instead? Someone, please help. I’m going through a lot of mental gymnastics here and my brain is too slow.
As for other censorship and banning, particularly when it comes to Kpop videos, the reasoning behind the banning is always silly to me. KBS, MBC, and SBS all have their own reasons, and sometimes one company will ban a video while the other two don’t. And the MOGEF steps in from time to time as well, and, really, at the moment it’s just something I just really can’t understand enough to be able to give a clear explanation of why some things get banned while others don’t. Some of the reasons for banning are just ridiculous, like in Psy’s case for kicking over a pylon, which was considered something like a traffic violation. Here’s a list of a bunch of videos that got banned:
Mirotic by TVXQ
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Lee Hyori
Gentleman by Psy
Marionette by Stellar
Uh-He by Crayon Pop
How Dare You by Sistar
Freeze! by Block-B
Abracadabra by Brown Eyed Girls
Paradise Lost by Ga-In
Turn It Up by T.O.P
Strong Baby by Seungri
Catallena by Orange Caramel
Oh hell this isn’t even a full list, but now that I look at it, this is a pretty badass playlist of kpop, I’d say! I can’t even think of half of that many videos banned in Canada or the US. Can you? Ah. All of this banning is silly.
So that’s it for this week’s TL;DR. We’d love to hear about what’s banned in your country. Europeans: is anything banned on tv for you? I heard in Australia that some programs are banned if they show people being too friendly with wildlife, because wildlife in Australia is deadly and friendliness with it shouldn’t be encouraged. Is that right? I remember hearing that in a conversation somewhere. If you know the answer, please do share!
Also, in case you didn’t hear, yesterday we launched the Eatyourkimchi Forums where we hope to get some conversation going. There’s lots of topics that we can’t cover in videos, but we’d like to still host an environment where people can talk about those things safely, and – I gotta say – the community here is really lovely, unlike some other forums. We’re sharing some thoughts there as well, and we’d love to hear what you’re interested in talking about. Hey, we might even do TL;DRs on them if we get enough conversation going. How about a TL;DR request thread?