Lawmakers are planning to call entertainment producers to the carpet and ask them this: Are songs and performances by girl idol groups too suggestive, given that most of the members are underage?
The lawmakers plan to summon owners of local major entertainment companies - including SM Entertainment and DSP Media - to a National Assembly audit and inspection hearing next week to determine whether songs and performances of girl groups are provocative, given that most of the girls are no more than teenagers.
The National Assembly's Culture, Sports, Tourism and Broadcasting Committee yesterday requested that three entertainment business tycoons - Kim Young-min of SM Entertainment, Lee Ho-yeon of DSP Media and Park Ki-ho of GP Basic Entertainment - appear at the parliamentary audit Monday as witnesses.
"Lawmakers will point out legal and ethical problems of companies that make underage singers wear short pants to expose their thighs and legs on TV shows and sing songs with suggestive moves and lyrics that would create sexual fantasies", said Grand National Party lawmaker Ahn Hyoung-Hwan, who belongs to the assembly committee.
GP Basic, a new idol group of six teenagers that includes elementary and middle school students, debuted last month, stirring concern over whether it is appropriate to allow underage girls to perform suggestive dances. Critics say that part of the GP Basic's song "Game" contains "sexy and suggestive lyrics".
The Korea Communications Standards Commission in June warned the three local broadcasters - SBS, KBS and MBC - about the suggestive performances of underage idol stars and the broadcasters raised the age limit of performers on the music shows from 12 years old to 15 years old.
But critics say the decision is ironic, given that teenagers aged 14 and older can watch the live shows.
"The regulation overseeing TV shows are geared to the audience, not teenage stars, who appear on the shows", said Kim Ki-hwan, an official at the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
By Kim Mi-ju, Shim Seo-hyeon