Korean teen stars face new legislation

August 2014

Live events sector, broadcasting, artistes


Teenage Korean ‘K-Pop’ stars are facing new legislation put in place to protect young people  from onerous work schedules. Two provisions of a new law will affect pop performers in particular: Firstly, performers under the age of 15 won’t be able to work more than 35 hours a week, and those between 15-18 won’t be able to work more than 40 hours. The devil is in the detail (as ever) – and the question remains what “work” is defined as, with Music Times asking: “Does doing publicity count?” and “Does being present at a concert venue prior to going onstage count?” The legislation does allow that “exceptions can be made for projects requiring long-distance travel.” Minors will also be barred from practicing their craft between the hours of 22.00 and 06,00 which may provide ;ogistical huredles for the live events sector and live T. That statute can be waived of parental permission is granted

The second provision affecting young performers is the section preventing minors from wearing skimpy outfits or performing “suggestive” dance routines – but again critics say the provisions are ill defined.

The strength or weaknesses of the law aside, the biggest trouble will be determining when it can be applied. Music Times asks “can a K-Pop act touring in the United States be prosecuted under Korean law if its members are too sexual onstage? Can they work more hours while abroad?”



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