New Contracts to Protect Aspiring Teenage Stars from Abuse
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and the Fair Trade Commission on Tuesday presented to the Cabinet a standardized contract for aspiring teenage stars that would protect them from abuse.
The proposal comes after teen group GP Basic was put together in August from five middle schoolers and an elementary school student, setting a new record for the youngest manufactured band. Currently teen entertainers are employed by talent agencies on private contracts that offer little protection from abuse and are often subject to pressure to wear revealing clothes, practice long, grueling hours or skip school.
A recent government survey shows that 10 percent of teenage entertainers wore revealing clothing and 60 percent of those had been pressured to do so, while half of the respondents (48 percent) missed school for more than half a day per week.
The government plans to come up with detailed guidelines for a standardized contract by the second half of next year which is binding on talent agencies. It would protect teen entertainers from being mistreated and require them to attend school at least 147 days a year.
New law to crack down on pubescent flesh on TV, in videos
A new law will be passed to prevent underage celebrities from showing too much flesh on television shows, magazines and in music videos.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family submitted a bill yesterday to the National Assembly to add an article to the youth protection law. Under the new article, if a media outlet shows too much of an underage performer’s naked flesh - including breasts or buttocks - and causes viewers to feel “shame,” the show or product will be labeled “harmful to teens.”
“If a television program is defined as ‘harmful media,’ it can’t be aired from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” said Kim Seong-byeok, an official at the ministry.
If a magazine or music video is labeled “harmful to teens” it can’t be sold.
“We expect broadcasting companies not to air or produce this kind of material anymore,” the official said.
The ministry coordinated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korea Communications Commission and the Fair Trade Commission. The new article will also be included in broadcasting regulations.
“Because idol singing groups have recently gotten popular, the number of underage celebrities is increasing rapidly,” an official at the ministry said. “But the youth protection law simply couldn’t catch up and didn’t protect underage celebrities well enough.”
The Youth Policy Analysis and Evaluation Center interviewed 85 underage celebrities from July 21 to Aug. 5 and found that 10.2 percent said they revealed their bodies partly or were forced to do immodest acts such as kissing or hugging with other guests on TV shows.
The young celebrities also said their studies suffered because of heavy performing schedules. According to the center’s statistics, 47.6 percent of respondents said they skipped more than half of their classes.
The government is now planning more regulations to protect underage celebrities, including guaranteeing fair contracts with agencies and protecting their rights for education and health.
Sources: The Chosun Ilbo & Shin Sung-sik, Kim Hee-jin @ JoongAng Daily