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Government taking action to protect underage celebrities and trainees from unfair practices

As underage celebrities begin working at a younger age than their peers, concerns were raised that they may easily be exposed to harmful situations such as fraud. The Office for Government Policy Coordination prepared a plan of action through discussion with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism; Korea Communications Commission; Korea Entertainment Producer’s Association; Korea Management Federation; and Korea Entertainment Management Association.

To prevent entertainment agencies from demanding money and valuables from aspiring celebrities by making fraudulent promises of debut, more information about all agencies will be make public. Currently, the search system on Korea Creative Content Agency’s (KOCCA) website only provides basic information about each agency, such as the company name and registration number. Moving forward, more practical information, such as which celebrities are under each agency, will also be made available. Each year, all registered agencies will be reviewed, and entertainment academies (academy-form agencies), which have been difficult to assess the true conditions of, will now be included in KOCCA’s biannual investigation of the pop culture industry. Moreover, inspection and the imposition of fines will be strengthened in relation to adherence to regulations of employment restrictions on sexual criminals and the fulfillment of mandatory sexual education. Special judicial police will be assigned to crack down on unregistered agencies.

Most auditions, the main route through which celebrities debut (41.5 percent), are taking place through personal connections, creating information asymmetry and the possibility of fraud. In the future, audition notices will posted on the websites of related associations and foundations. An audition guideline will be created as well to further enhance the transparency of auditions. A standard TV appearance contract for minors will be established, and the standard contract for pop culture artists will be reviewed and supplemented every three years to reflect the state of the industry at the time.

The protection of underage celebrities’ rights to proper rest and education, which is mentioned in the Popular Culture and Arts Industry Development Act, will be supplemented by more specific guidelines that can be applied in the workplace. A “standard TV appearance guideline” will be created for the main broadcasting channels to protect underage celebrities who appear on TV. For clauses that do not state any legal restrictions, such as the clause on how long underage celebrities can provide their services depending on their age, will be modified to include fines that will be imposed if the regulation is not followed. When sexual crimes or other harm is reported by a celebrity, cases in which the victim is underage will prioritized.

To relieve the stress and concerns underage celebrities and trainees have, the psychological and career counseling provided by KOCCA’s Popular Culture and Arts Support Center will be expanded to allow 350 clients from the current 100 clients.

The government stated, “We will semi-annually inspect each department’s situation with the improvement measures so that the protection of underage celebrities’ rights can be implemented smoothly.”

Source: @soompi, Naver via Soompi
Tags: political news, social issues
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