Five K-pop associations slam revisions to act related to young stars
Five associations in Korea’s pop culture industry issued a statement on Tuesday urging that the clause on strengthening regulations on underage celebrities’ work hours in the new “Lee Seung-gi Crisis Prevention Act” be deleted.
The Korea Entertainment Producer’s Association, Corea Entertainment Management Association, Recording Industry Association of Korea, Record Label Industry Association of Korea and Korea Music Content Association stated that “the revision limits work hours for teenage celebrities by subdividing age limits, which turns a blind eye to reality.” They added the revision is a “bill to hinder the pop culture industry from advancing.”
The so-called Lee Seung-gi Crisis Prevention Act is a set of revisions on the Popular Culture Art Industrial Development Act, passed by the National Assembly’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee on April 21. It obligates entertainment agencies to disclose their income settlement details.
The change aims to prevent unjust treatment toward pop culture artists, as seen in the case of singer and actor Lee Seung-gi who was involved in a legal battle last year with his then-agency Hook Entertainment regarding missing payments.
The five agencies stated that they “agree with the revision’s clauses on disclosing accounting and payments in order to prevent a so-called ‘Lee Seung-gi crisis.” However, it expressed concerns that dubbing the entire revision the “Lee Seung-gi law” may give an impression that all the clauses are necessary changes to correct unfair situations.
The agencies claim that the revision’s strengthened and more specific limitations on underage stars’ work hours hinder their activities.
Prior to the change, the Popular Culture Art Industrial Development Act stipulated that pop culture artists under the age of 15 can work a maximum 35 hours a week, and maximum 40 hours a week for those 15 or above until they reach the adult age of 19.
The revision, however, categorized ages and work hours in more detail. Now under the new regulation, pop culture artists under 12 can work up to 25 hours a week and six hours per day; those between ages 12 and 15 can work up to 30 hours a week and seven hours per day; and maximum 35 hours a week and seven hours per day for those 15 or older.
“The industry has complied with the law’s limit on working hours for teenagers under the age of 15,” stated the five organizations.
“Additional regulations are unnecessary and will limit the activities of idol groups, which consist of members of various ages. It will weaken the competitiveness of the pop culture industry.”
“It is unfair that [other non-celebrity] students can study until late at night, but teenagers who want to grow into worldwide pop artists are not allowed to do the activities they want,” the statement continues. The five organizations are currently requesting the age limit clause in question to be deleted, as well as a discussion with the industry regarding other clauses.
Other parts of the revision regarding underage celebrities’ protection also include a ban on excessive management on appearance (such as excessive weight loss), coercion of unhealthy or dangerous actions, physical abuse, verbal abuse and sexual harassment, and skipping or dropping out of school.
BY HALEY YANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]