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[HanCinema's News] Korea Communications Standards Commission Recommends Stricter Editorial Standards for Television Programming

2020/05/14

A number of minor controversies have erupted over South Korean television programming in recent months. Various incidents, most notably an unexpectedly darkly violent scene in "The World of the Married", prompted a meeting of the Korea Communications Standards Commission on May 13th. The Commission publically announced that going forward new measures had to be taken to curb inappropriate content on South Korean television.

The purview of the Korea Communications Standards Commission goes beyond just dramas. A popular animated cartoon was also disussed at the meeting, the television version of "Theatrical Cut - Hello Jadu". Specifically, the relevant content was an episode where male elementary school students blackmail female elementary school students with footage inadvertently taken of them urinating.

Another scene from the weekend drama "Once Again" was also brought up as an issue, wherein male high school students are entertained at a seaweed rice roll restaurant as if they were visiting a more adult-oriented establishment. The infamous wireless bra scene from "The King: Forever Sovereign" also drew the ire of the Commission. Many questioned how these scenes were approved, and why.

The chief concern of the Commission on these matters was social justice, rather than moral standards, as Commission members most directly questioned the negative messages such plot points were imparting about women. Other admonitions delivered by the panel involved variety shows with apparent derogatory messages about disabled people.

The admonitions were reached by only five panelists, and as such do not have any legal bearing. However, the meeting was more likely a warning in case future programs continue these current trends. The full nine-person panel has the power to deliver more serious legally binding injunctions if they believe current recommendations are being ignored.

Written by William Schwartz

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