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Censorship in Korea

November 11, 2015


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Hi everyone!

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?



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Censorship in Korea


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  1. I live in the US- it doesn’t seem like a lot of stuff actually is BANNED here, people would FLIP OUT. Things are pulled from shelves in classrooms, or words are bleeped out on TV/Radio. I don’t agree with pulling books from shelves in classrooms simply because we’re embarrassed that we used to use degrading language (Huckleberry Finn, other novels like that). It’s a clear picture of history. I think it’s better to teach why we DON’T talk like that anymore. What’s weird about the US in my opinion is that sex is used to sell literally everything- think the carls jr burger ads!- but ladies are very rarely seen nude or even semi nude on TV. Violence, however, gets a huge green light. I remember growing up and seeing all kinds of crazy violent stuff, but few to no boobs (or guy parts!). So Americans (in general) seem to have this sort of prudish response to nudity that I don’t truly understand, though I am one.

    (sorry for posting twice, I didn’t mean to leave the first one as a reply to another comment, can’t figure out how to delete the other one).

    5 years ago
  2. What I find hilarious about the banning of Mirotic is that as I understand it, Mirotic got banned for the lyrics, “I got you under my skin” which are sung in English and are completely non-sexual in English and when they performed on tv they had to change it to, “I got you under my sky”(LAME!). But I swear – I SWEAR at the 3:06 mark Junsu sings, “You know that you can go down on me” in English and that bit was allowed. Misheard lyrics? Maybe. Don’t think so. XP XD

    5 years ago
  3. I’m from Australia, and really the censorship laws here are fairly lax compared to many other countries (that I’m aware of)!
    There are (I think) different standards and rules for commercial TV, State funded TV, and Pay TV (cable).

    On commercial TV content deemed inappropriate for children must be shown in a later time-slot. F-bombs are reasonably common after about 9.30pm. That infamous episode of Sex and the city (featuring the C-bomb) is generally aired much later.

    Nudity is allowed (full frontal) in a late time-slot too. So it’s not uncommon to see Ps, Bs and Vs late at night.
    Interestingly, midday movies (during non-school holiday periods) often feature Bs, and sometimes Vs and Ps.

    Our two state funded… or to put it more accurately state-supported channels ABC and SBS (the latter of which was set-up to cater for migrant communities in Australia) generally don’t censor at all. SBS2 which features an awesome show on Sunday mornings ~ SBSPopAsia… has aired some of the “controversial” K-pop MVs.
    Notably ~ Hyuna’s “Roll deep”

    It’s interesting that the video posted here shows a screenshot from Dalshabet’s Joker.
    Dalshabet is my favourite K-pop group! <3

    To be perfectly honest, I can't see what all the fuss was about!
    In my opinion, the MV is far from tasteless. Although DS seem to have a knack for creating unintentional controversies with their music and videos, I often find myself scratching my head as to why!

    Their outfits (apparently) were too "sexy" for the Bling Bling promotional photoshoot and had to be changed? Really? I don't get it!

    And then there was Be Ambitious. Now I get that in South Korea, there is a strong military culture, and that a certain men's group were offended because AhYoung's character in that MV was a cute G.I.Jane type persona. But so what?

    It's a music video. Each character portrayed represents a different aspect of Korean culture.
    Subin covers sports (and in my opinion it's a very cute callback to the infamous hugging/kissing incident with the Nexens mascot), and shows off her love of baseball.
    Jiyul covers intellectual pursuits… I understand she enjoys reading. A love we share. ^_^
    etc… etc…

    When I see AhYoung's army girl character in that MV, what goes through my mind, is physical fitness and getting into shape. And really… her "bossiness"?
    I just don't see how that is disparaging to men at all.

    Surely any straight single man would be delighted to have such an adorable personal trainer?
    In other words, she's too cute to be offensive.

    All the girls are.


    There's no point in taking "musical theatre" ~ which in my opinion is what K-pop MVs are (but in miniature form) too seriously.

    I remember reading a very mean review some dude did on the net about Be Ambitious.
    Basically he ripped into the girls, putting them down… and shaming them for making a music video that to me is basically harmless.

    I get that Joker had to be re-edited, because it sounded in Korean like they were singing words that resemble certain anatomy-related expletives. Fair enough.

    However… the criticism that the song is about extra-marital affairs? Pffft whatever!
    The timing was perfect. Genius in my opinion!
    Korea just decriminalised it, so to sing about the subject matter at that time is very appropriate.

    Does that mean the girls are trying to encourage people to have affairs?
    I don't think so. They are simply singing about something that was topical at the time.

    And kudos to Subin for co-writing the song. Girl power! <3

    But what about Jiyul's provocative inner thigh rub?
    What about it? Tame compared to some Western MVs I've seen.

    I don't find the Joker MV offensive or tasteless one little bit.
    Dalshabet's brand of "sexy" is chic, classy, and artistic.
    The outfits in Joker are adorable.

    It's such a shame the K-pop MVs aren't considered art in Korea.
    They should be!

    5 years ago
  4. F**k gets bleeped on TV shows here in America, yet they leave in a lot of other words such as the B word and the S word. It just makes me laugh every time. Are we supposed to pretend we don’t know the F word when it is bleeped out? This happens a lot in music as well. They play a rap song on the radio, and they silence the words out, so it just sounds like the song is skipping.

    5 years ago
  5. Sooo… I saw the title of this new video (and post) and thought Wow, they’re answering that question I tweeted them like a week ago! I was thrilled! But then… you didn’t answer my question.

    Why do they blur handcuffs in Korean shows?

    Clearly, they’re not weapons (esp when used by police to keep a bad guy from running off), and they’re not smoking tattooed hot pants either. Anyone?

    5 years ago
  6. In Brazil you can’t advertise cigarettes in any way anymore. “Sexy lady” type of beer commercials have also been prohibited. Advertisement targeted at children was being debated, but I’m not sure it got banned in the end… Also using cartoon characters and such associated with brands (like “spiderman apples” or whatever). Nudity is a bit more confusing – you have open channels broadcasting softcore porn after hours, and during carnival one of the biggest broadcasters usually has an ad with a naked woman dancing, but I THINK that only comes on after 8 pm or something like that. But at the same time I think there is a limit to what you can actually show during regular programs…

    5 years ago
  7. Ok, well bow about censorship in Korea in the earlier days. While I was there, a singer who was a friend of us Peace Corps vols, 양희은, had an album (vinyl, mind you) censored in large part because of the song 아침이슬, a beautiful bit of poetry. The first line, though, is “After enduring the long dark night, I rise in the morning to climb the hill into the light,”, so, yeah, that’s not about harsh dictators or anything. She didn’t let that shut her down, and in fact sang the song at some major protests during the 전두환 years, at obvious risk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq7w0Izw5mQ
    She had us, her friends, weeping when she did that – the courage it took!
    Another singer whom some of us knew, 서유석, had a song banned because he sang about the proliferation of clothing shops and bars and lack of book stores in front of a certain well-known (*koff* 이화) university…I always thought that was going a bit far.

    5 years ago
  8. Funny you should put this video up now. My niece who lives in Morocco (pretty conservative country) was on a vacation here in the Netherlands. And we were just talking while we were waiting for the bus to come and behind me a add came on for cheese in which they show naked bodies and cheese and they are pretty popular for doing this. My niece was so shocked when she saw this that she didn’t tell me about it until she saw it again on television. The poor girl couldn’t understand why they would do it. She started blushing and everything, it made me think about how desensitized I have became for those kind of commercials. Here is a commercial blog analyzing the commercial and it’s success http://reclameblog.com/milner-geeft-zich-bloot-letterlijk.html

    5 years ago
  9. In America, I see more about book banning than I do about tv/movies/commercials/etc.

    5 years ago
    • Nothing gets “banned” in the USA, it is more like what Martina and Simon were talking about with Kpop videos where certain companies can choose not to show things. So what we hear about most is school in the US getting specific books pulled from shelves. There is a lot of controversy over the movie rating system, which isn’t straight up censorship, but pretty much is since and X/NC-17 rating is a death stamp for movies. There is a documentary called “this movie is not rated” that talks about it, basically pointing out that there isn’t really any standards for movies.

      5 years ago
      • There are actually many movies either banned outright or banned in certain states. Even Scarface is banned in 5 states. The book To Kill A Mockingbird is still banned in schools (which I find ridiculous). And there are music videos that have been banned off of TV. Such as You’re All I Need by Motley Crue. The federal government tried to ban the song Copper Killer by Body Count, the result of the controversy, Ice T pulled the album off the shelf and released it without the song. Censorship is alive and well in the United States. Otherwise there would be no FCC for Eminem to rape about in his song Without Me. And we can’t forget the whole 2 Live Crew incident, which resulted in Parental Advisory warning labels and age requirements for buying albums. Thanks to a bunch of bored DC housewives aka the PMRC. There are banned commercials,videos,movies and books.

        4 years ago
      • Of course nothing gets outright banned, I was just saying I hear more about books than I do movies in those circumstances. Pretty much everyone I know thinks movie ratings are crap and don’t pay attention to them anyways lol

        5 years ago
        • I live in the US- it doesn’t seem like a lot of stuff actually is BANNED here, people would FLIP OUT. Things are pulled from shelves in classrooms, or words are bleeped out on TV/Radio. I don’t agree with pulling books from shelves in classrooms simply because we’re embarrassed that we used to use degrading language (Huckleberry Finn, other novels like that). It’s a clear picture of history. I think it’s better to teach why we DON’T talk like that anymore.

          What’s weird about the US in my opinion is that sex is used to sell literally everything- think the carls jr burger ads!- but ladies are very rarely seen nude or even semi nude on TV. Violence, however, gets a huge green light. I remember growing up and seeing all kinds of crazy violent stuff, but few to no boobs (or guy parts!). So Americans (in general) seem to have this sort of prudish response to nudity that I don’t truly understand, though I am one.

          5 years ago
        • Yea, it’s kind of like… nothing gets banned, but as we decide this or that is offensive, we pull it. We don’t want to look back at some of our worst moments in history, is part of it. Like yea, I’m totally not into ‘the n-word’ in the Huck Finn novel.. but… it’s a piece of history? I think it’s better to acknowledge it and try to learn from it.

          I’m also not an educator by any means, so this is purely personal opinion. I am fairly certain that in school I read the ‘original’ version of the book, and we changed the word when reading out loud. I can’t remember for certain though, too far gone from elementary/middle school. I do remember reading the book, and I definitely didn’t start slinging slurs around afterwards.

          5 years ago
  10. Not sure if this counts as “censorship” but here in Singapore, they show Hong Kong dramas on our local free-to-air channels but it’s always dubbed in Mandarin with no dual sound option. This “ban” on Chinese dialects started since the government introduced the Speak Mandarin Campaign in 1979 to encourage the use of Mandarin instead of Chinese dialects. However,many people (especially the older generation) still speak in Chinese dialects, it’s just not used in TV/radio broadcasts.

    5 years ago
  11. They only censor one tiny little thing in the U.S., and pretty much everything else goes, but who really needs ‘truth’ from the mass media, it’s all entertainment, isn’t it?

    5 years ago
  12. So would people whom make decisions for KOCSC be called KOC BLOCRS?

    5 years ago
  13. In the US, alcohol commercials can show anyone drinking the alcohol. This results in party scenes where everyone is ostentatiously holding a bottle or beach scenes with bottles sitting next to people relaxing. Because somehow if anyone took a sip, it would cause everyone to drink uncontrollably ;)

    5 years ago
  14. The censoring of products is more for so that the show doesn’t get sued for using a product without permission. Korean businesses are very on top of when their products get used without prior notice.

    5 years ago
  15. yeah there was an episode of a kids tv show about spiders that got banned because spiders ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS

    5 years ago
  16. I can’t really think of anything censored or banned in Germany. Well they blur people’s heads in tv shows where the camera team films people in real life if they didn’t give any consent. And they edited anime shown in the afternoon program a bit (and some a lot). Made it a bit less bloody but I think that had nothing to do with any laws. We have a thing called FSK which ranges movies and tv shows into age groups and kind of delegates the airing time in time zones. (Like FSK 16 movies can only be aired after 10pm.). And also there’s a difference between movies pg 18 that can be shown in free tv and pg18 movies that are on the index and can not even be free for everyone to see in stores. However, most censorship in Germany is about protecting the youth but it doesn’t mean that everything is censored for them. For example, while pornografic content is clearly forbidden, sex charasteristics can be shown if it’s not in a sexual context. In the old swedish children’s movie Ronja the Robber’s daughter is a scene where a bunch of bearded grown ass men run naked through the forest, their penises wobbling around for everyone to see. That movie is for six year olds. (And I see nothing wrong with it since kids shouldn’t grow up fearing human bodies) Another example, in the german movie Zweiohrküken there is a (long) scene where there’s nothing but a big penis on the screen to see (really, it’s a close up. Was a little awkward in the cinema.) and there are a lot of breasts shown aswell. That movie’s PG12.
    I’ve noticed too though that German TV kind of censores products too. There’re stickers on macbooks and so on and for some reason the producers (or their crew) always program their own search engine that looks kinda like yahoo back in the 90s. But there isn’t really censorship that disturbs you while watching. Well we do have a law that prohibits censorship in any way. There’s no way cigarettes would ever be blured in any movies. (Oh but now that I think of it, the tv commercials are banned). Rather than not showing them at all there are kids shows that use topics like drugs, sex and alcohol in their storyline in a way that educates the kids about the dangers and so on.
    I kind of feel like I’m praising the german media too much but I really like that about my country. But I’m sure I missed some not so good stuff too. (Apart from the anime censorship. Seriously, how could they censore a Naruto episode that’s PG16 so that 6year olds can watch it? That was ridiculous)
    Whatever. Now, that my post is so long that probably noone would ever read it, I’ll stop.

    5 years ago
  17. Reminds me of when B.A.P had that Killing Camp thing (episode 1) were they were in a grocery store for a game the entire video and THE WHOLE SHELVES were blurred out and the products they picked out as well, it made the whole hting super annoying to watch. “Is that corn or is it a cucumber, because I really can’t tell.”

    5 years ago
  18. oh, are those their official titles? I’ve just been calling them the Korean Fun Police since Mirotic was banned… I like KOCSCers too though.

    5 years ago
  19. I think I can explain brand ban somewhat. We have similar laws here in Sweden when it concerns our public service network (SVT and SR, television and radio respectively). They can’t say any brand names and has to refer to companys very vaguely. The reasoning behind the law is that if a TV-show has a specific brand in it, it could encourage people to buy something of that brand, which would compromise the free marketing competition. Instead of people choosing on their own whom to buy from, the broadcasting network could influence people to buy a specific brand over another, which wouldn’t be fair the company not being shown on air. For example – if a LG phone is shown on tv, it will act as “free commercial” for the company, and people might think it’s a good brand, the people on tv used it, right? Because of this another brand like Samsung might lose customers, and that’s where the problem is. I don’t know if it’s the same in korea, but if a show or something is sponsored, there HAS to be a note somewhere that says so. Most of the time it’s in the credits. And if they have to say brand name, they show has to put in a disclaimer along the lines of “there are other good companies out there that also sell this product”. It’s really hilarious at times when its so obvious which company someone is referring to, but they have to say “So I went to a store of this big company that makes furniture”…we all know it’s ikea, but they can’t say it out loud. I hope that wasn’t too messy of an explanation!

    5 years ago
    • I think there are similar things in the US, though I think it isn’t a law in the United States, just adopted by individual broadcasting companies. I know MTV made a rule that they would blur all logos to prevent companies sponsoring music videos. There was a whole big deal because someone was making fun of product placement by making cheesy poses with cans of pepsi or coke throughout the video and therefore got “banned” making everyone ticked since it was clearly a parody.

      I am also pretty sure Food Network has some rule that they can’t show food brands, but I think it is more about conflicting with TV ads. So you will notice everyone has their labels perfectly turned in shots, and you can recognize the brand by the color or shape or whatever. Sometimes they purposely replace labels to say something simple like “beans”. I know the show Good Eats sometimes wants you to use a specific brand so he was jokingly explain it to you “I’m not going to name names, but you may want to use this cookies that has two chocolate cookies with a creamy middle, by I am certainly not telling you get the kind that rhymes with torreos.”

      5 years ago
  20. I have seen Danish kid’s shows and movies, where they swear a lot. I have also once seen an 80’s kid’s show, where there was a scene, where a little girl walks into her parents room and sees them have sex, and when she asks them what they are doing. The father actually says “We are f***ing”.

    5 years ago
  21. An Indonesian friend told me that cigarette ads in Indonesia can not explicitly show smoking or cigarettes at all. This means companies can get really creative with their ads. If you’re in Indo and you come across a bizarre or “cool” ad that doesn’t seem to make much sense, and you’re not quite sure what they’re selling, it’s most likely a cigarette ad. The ones on YouTube are very good examples!

    5 years ago
  22. Hello everyone!
    I’m actually quite interested in this topic so I did a little bit of googling about cencorship here in Finland.
    Rules that I know already are that you can’t advertise cigarrets on TV or strong alcoholic beverages like vodka or whiskey. You can advertise milder alcoholic drinks after a certain time but I’m not entirely sure what that time is.
    What I did find while researching was that after 5pm the programs are meant for people over 12, after 9pm people over 16 and after 11pm people over 18. Things like violence, cigarrets, drugs and alcohol can be shown as long as it is not harmful for a childs development but they still aren’t shown during the time people assume kids are watching TV.
    There were even age limits for how much sex you can show. For soft-core porn it’s 16 and for hard-core porn it’s 18. This might seem like I’m making this up but trust me!! I’m not!! :D
    Movies, DVDs etc. can be banned if they include or cause some of the following
    1.provocation towards a specific group of people
    2.animal cruelty
    4.brutal violence
    5.animal pornography
    6.child pornography
    7.violent pornography
    Thislist is actually in the Finnish law.It also states that if content jeopardizes the safety of people or causes psychological damage it will be banned.
    There are probably many more rules but these are just the ones that I found interesting.

    5 years ago
  23. Simon, do you know that the bikini with male nipples on it is actually a thing?
    They were created by a lady who got pissed with instagram photos being deleted for showing boobies, or at least, she used them to campaign for #freethenipple. It’s called the TaTaTop.
    Thought you’d like to know!

    5 years ago
  24. Mia

    In the US, food commercials such as McDonalds or Gogurt or whatever high fat, high sugar, not nutritionally dense food have been banned during a certain time slot. They can’t be shown on networks like Nick or Cartoon Network or other kid friendly networks, or during times that kids would often be watching TV in an effort to combat all the advertising of this food for children. I personally agree with it, there’s no need for TV shows to be bombarding kids with that kind of food along with all the other stuff they’ll be inevitably asking their parents to buy them.

    5 years ago
    • It shouldn’t be about “need”, it should be about “market”. The parent can say no when asked, they can tell their children not to watch the show, and they can write to the advertisers or network to tell them why they’re losing viewers.

      4 years ago
  25. Meg

    I can’t really think of anything that is banned on American television. I know that you can only show certain types of shows during later times of days when the kiddos go to sleep. Ummmm I think nudity sometimes gets blurred? IDK I don’t watch much TV except on Netflix and they dont blur things out then. And also Game of Thrones and Walking Dead, but I watch those downloaded and they don’t blur nudity or gross things out then. But I once caught an ep of Game of Thrones on TV and noticed they blurred out things but once again I’m not sure what the rules are specifically. I noticed someone below say they wish more was censored on US TV but I’m the opposite. I love it. I think censorship is pretty stupid. I get trying to censor things from kids, but as an adult I think I can handle nudity without having a hissy fit over it.

    5 years ago
    • Censorship in US television depends on the type of channel. Broadcast channels (ABC, NBC, etc) have the most restrictions. Basic cable channels (i.e. A&E, which shows The Walking Dead) have fewer restrictions. Premium cable channels (i.e. HBO, which shows Game of Thrones) have no restrictions. In other words, access to nudity is market-based.

      5 years ago
      • klynb is right, it depends on the network. Technically you can show whatever the heck you want, but the reason why networks choose the censor things is because of commercials. Sponsors (at least in the old days) could read the script of the episode before committing to product placement. If there was something they didn’t like, they would pull their money. This is the main drive for American censorship. Plus I think Americans find blurring and bleeping in bad taste so I think TV producers avoid it, if the girl takes her shirt off in the script they aren’t going to film from the front and blur it, they are just going to film from the back. So most companies pick and choose what they think isn’t objectionable. Plus there is the idea that you can annoy your audience is another driving factor. HBO and Showtime don’t need to blur anything because they have no sponsors. They are supported completely by paid subscriptions.

        5 years ago
  26. The censorship in Australia that you mentioned was actually an episode of Peppa Pig where she befriended a spider. Obviously in Australia we have over 10 extremely venomous spiders and by telling toddlers that it’s okay to be friends with them seemed like a bad call..
    Don’t get me wrong I thought it was silly but because it is a show for children who don’t understand the concept of danger or death I guess it kind of makes sense.

    5 years ago
  27. Poland – no alcohol adds during day time. It can be seen after 10pm. Nudity is not a problem here and never was (even between 1946-1989) – honestly boobs are in every single, polish movie. It is quite boring ;)

    5 years ago
  28. In France, showing cigarettes on screen, lit or not, is a big no-no. It has to do with prevention against smoking (drinking alcohol is fine, though, except if it’s in a live show). Cigarette adds are also forbidden.

    It’s also forbidden to show brands, which is sometimes hilarious if they shoot outside (especially in travel documentaries) because they’ll try to either blurr or reverse the logo of buildings in the background or people’s clothes, which makes them even more obvious :)
    I think the whole product placement is just a question of money. The channels can get revenue thanks to product placement, and so the companies that get to pay wouldn’t like it if other products were advertised for free, I guess?

    5 years ago
    • For the cigarettes it’s only on Tv and not on movies or series. Movies and series don’t have big censorship.
      Before, when I was child I remember Tv was less censored too. There is an other thing in France, showing the face of lambda people and children is not allowed. Once I thought my country was cool when on reports I saw a topless woman with only the face blured on a beatch x).
      Also the words are not supposed to be censored but now they begin to do this, even fuck, which is absurd cause we re in France…

      5 years ago
  29. Most shocking think about censorship is “banning a spesific person” for me in Korea. Like MC Mong.

    5 years ago
  30. Speaking about censorship, anything about communist propaganda from North Korea are banned in South Korea and these including North Korean-published Books and the websites which are considered sympathetic to Northern Commies Nation. Even a handful of Southerners who praised North Korea will be prosecuted according to South Korea’s Law.

    On the other hand, North Korea does the same way; vice versa. The Northerners who watched SK TV Shows and smuggled K-Drama and K-Movie DVDs and also hearing SK Radio (e.g: Voice of America or major radio stations in SK) will be prosecuted harshly by the Northern Commie Government.

    5 years ago
  31. I laughed that most of your examples were from running man, It reminded me of the episode with jay park and dying laughing at how you could Tell the editors were having a very hard time keepin the star tattoos on his neck covered. You could almost do a drinking game take a shot everytime the missed and his tats showed. Or that they missed him all together and blurred some random spot just to the side of him. Seriously I wish they censured more stuff still in the US. Maybe that’s part of the reason I watch so much Korean entertainment.

    5 years ago
  32. So,why was TVXQ Mirotic banned?

    5 years ago
    • The line “I got you under my skin” was considered too sexual. Or a drug reference. Either way stupid. The censored version was “I got you under my sky”.

      5 years ago
  33. I know the censorship in the Philippines are any TV stations are blurred the logo except for the sponsors that has product placement on their tv shows. The OPM songs and OPM music videos are banned from Some TV stations and radio stations because it is similar to Korean music video are banned from the TV Station except on their music channels Last on the list are they are blurring the objects including smoking tattoos and nudity on TV

    5 years ago
  34. Long time no see!

    Honestly, that censoring brand names/logos is also a thing here in Germany, I never thought of it as something weird if I’m honest. It’s just handled differently here, like there are no products blurred out there just are no products seen at all.
    In the past there have been numerous controversies where companies paid the stations to have billboards of their products appear subtly in the background and there were huge fines and it was really blown out of proportion back then, some of the head programmers even had to step down from their positions I think.
    This only goes for the TV stations that are sponsored by taxes though, privately owned stations are allowed to show products. They do it very subtly though. At the start of every program there’s like a disclaimer at the top saying “This show has been partially funded by product placement.” Some specific shows went totally overboard with the sponsoring on private networks in the past and they were forced to have a “Infomercial” tag on the screen all the time due to the show being cluttered with ads and actually being like shows that had no intention of advertising products.

    I think there’s a big sensitivity for product placement in general here because we’re like so used to products not being shoved down our throats. Whenever I livestream American TV or even just music videos I’m so confused by all the products shamelessly being held into my face.

    5 years ago
  35. Most of these apply in the US as well. They’re starting to change censorship so it’s not as strict anymore (you can see lit cigarettes and such) but nipples are a huge no-no and if you watch TV shows with brands, they’re either made up (like ‘pear’ products instead of apple) or they’re blurred out. Movie ratings especially have started to change. You can say the F word once in a PG-13 movie and be okay but if you do more than that you get a R rating. You can show a few quick seconds of breasts in a PG-13 movie but if it’s more than 30 seconds, it becomes rated R. Things like that. I feel like the US is more strict on nudity than things like blood and language. You can watch TV shows like American Horror Story that are all about murder and rape and such, but you won’t see any nudity.

    5 years ago
    • I’ve heard people say it is the opposite in Europe, lots of boobies and less violence. I remember in Film class IN COLLEGE hearing my teachers appoligize for nudity! Well sort of. Once a teacher showed us a film and then at the very end was like “oops! uh there some shrubbery and waterworks in the film” and another teacher said a male student complained that there were too many boobs in some film from the 70s (I think Slaughter House 5) and the teacher was like “isn’t that the point of films? especially in the 70s?”

      I guess maybe the whole anti-sex pro-violence thing is big in the US is because everyone knows killing people is bad, but sex, that is messy and conflicting. As I mentioned up above most TV networks choose to blur or ban things according to what sponsors would object to. A lot of people have gave movie rating examples for cursing x amount of times, the color of blood, how many people get shot, etc. But never example of only x amount of orgasms can be show, or x amount of nipples. This is because of movie rating system is judge by 9 or so random people. They watch the film and rate it, and it is objective. Such films that got an X/NC-17 rating has been Midnight Cowboy (once it won an oscar it get bumped to an R rating!), a Clockwork Orange, Pink Flamingos (bad example?), Lust, Caution, Kids, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Y Tu Mamá También (technically they didn’t like the rating so they went for no rating). Most NC-17 films will re-edit, surrender their rating and have none (which makes no sense to me), or are foreign films. Usually American NC-17 ratings comes from the combo of sex AND violence. There is also a lot of issues with females enjoying sex. For example Boys Don’t Cry had a hard time getting an R rating and the director was convinced it was because of the female orgasm, which the MPAA said the violence at the end was okay, but the sex scenes where not. Blue Valentine got an NC-17 rating and Ryan Gosling go mad and said “There’s plenty of oral sex scenes in a lot of movies, where it’s a man receiving it from a woman – and they’re R-rated. Ours is reversed and somehow it’s perceived as pornographic” And yes, the MPAA said it was in fact that scene that caused it to get the NC-17 rating.

      5 years ago
    • That’s one thing I never understood. In our lifetimes, we’re far more likely to encounter sex than we are bloody murder, so why is murder and violence acceptable while sex isn’t?

      5 years ago
    • I know! The violence-but-not-nudity thing is hilarious to me. The best example is the show Hannibal. It’s about a serial killer, so there is A LOT of gore. I heard the director had filmed the naked butt of a dead body and the FCC opposed it because it was naked. What did the director do? Fill the crack in with blood of course! And that made everything fine, I guess.

      5 years ago
      • That is the most amazing example I have ever heard. That example is the only thing you need to explain what is silly about the American perspective on sex (bad) and violence (a-ok!).

        5 years ago
    • Yeah, I’ve never understood why violence is worse than sex. It seems like rape especially would be bad because then you have to explain sex. And in the same vein, why are people allowed to put up Viagra commercials in the middle of “family shows”? I had to avoid explaining that to some kids I was babysitting!

      5 years ago
  36. I thought censoring brands on TV was to prevent either free advertising or possible misunderstanding that the show was endorsing a certain brand or product. Then it would make sense to pay to advertise.

    5 years ago
  37. Bonus points for using a Misaeng clip (I loved that show).

    5 years ago
  38. I know there are some weird rules state side about movies and what can be allowed in movies at different ratings (like I think you can only swear once in PG13 movies but more in R, etc). But I think stateside, you mostly get boobies and front bottoms banned. Some swearing. But it really depends on the words being used.

    I don’t think tons of stuff is banned, but you will sometimes see something like what you were talking about with the brand blurring. We don’t really do brand blurring, but lots of times, they will replace something that hasn’t been paid for by making another fake product. Like instead of Apple products, you will have Pear or Pineapple products. Starbucks becomes Fishbucks and has a star person as a logo. McDonald’s golden arches flipped and named WcWonald’s. Stuff like that. It gets quite comical and sarcastic, as you can tell.

    5 years ago
    • It’s one f-bomb for Pg13, but a few times, if one is partially cut off they allow more. Pg13 allows for nonsexual nudity (which is how Titanic managed its nude scene). It doesn’t allow too many scenes of violence in a row, i.e. if you have a series of fight scene with a Pg13 level of violence and not enough other scenes, suddenly the movie is R (Transporter had to cut a fight scene for that reason). Also if you change the blood color from red to pink, it’s no longer R, like the StarTrek movie with all the dead Klingons in zero g. Movie ratings in the US get super silly with studios adding and subtracting certain things to get the rating they want, it’s a game based on what they think will earn them the most money.

      5 years ago
  39. Well I live in Denmark – and we have very little censorship, there’s both nakedness and swear words (not much though! because, well it’s rude) on tv. Then again, danish people doesn’t really get easily offended ^^,

    5 years ago
  40. Woah, first… I think, took a while to type this.

    Anyway, I have an interesting one for you from Sweden, though it relates to film.

    In the 80’s after the so called freedom fighting period, nudity wasn’t a major issue in films. Children’s movies could show nude scenes of so much as 12 grown men running and bathing into snow, and no one cared. The same movie shows two children actors sunbathing nude as well, still no one cares.

    Later in the 90’s I was watching a teen and below movie at school. Suddenly, the main character’s dad stepped out of the shower, fully nude, in full screen. Girl’s giggled and our teacher appologised, but I think the rating of that movie was considered PG11 at most.

    However, when one of the later Twilight movies came out it shows on sex scenes, no nipples or such things and quite dim lighting if I remember. This was suppoed to go into PG15, but the fans fought for it and won. The head of the cinema wanted to up the rating, but fans thought this was totally unfair.

    I should also mention, the many times I’ve been to theatres and seen nude people…

    On the other hand, ET accordingly was in the talk of being banned because according to the Swedish Film Industry, it portrayed parents badly. Now, I have actually not seen ET yet, but one of our most famous writer’s, who also wrote the book that my first mentioned movie was based off, was notorious for making adult characters seem unfair and sometimes very strict and even bad in some cases.

    In general I think the main censorship in Sweden today seems to be child pornography, as this has been brought up a few times in court, mostly from people whose computers were found to contain child pornographic pictures. We’re quite open in this country, as we can write and say what we want, as long as no one is oppressed by it, and you do not direct it at specific ethnic groups. Censhorship is generally age-based and that changes all the time, and will.

    5 years ago
    • Kinda of the topic but, I love how I could tell right away what show you were talking about: “nude scenes of so much as 12 grown men running and bathing into snow”. Ronja Rövardotter!! Such a great movie! :”)

      5 years ago
    • hijacking your comment here, hope you don’t mind!

      Sweden do have interesting laws concerning commercial with alcohol or tobacco. With advertising, you have to have a huge disclaimir in the ad (20% of the ad) that says discouraging stuff about alcohol/tobacco, like “smoking is bad for you and can seriously damage your health”. There’s several ones rotating, but they’re all written in black on white with bold letters, so you can’t miss them. Also, there’s a limit of how much alcohol it’s in these products – nothing over 15% alcohol will be shown. Supposedly, alcohol or tobacco commercials are banned from tv, but there’s a loophole with the first, so you will see it from time to time. I have never ever seen a tobacco commercial though.

      5 years ago