The saga of Korea’s ban of minors from Lady Gaga‘s concert in Seoul continues on, as more details have emerged, including contradictory standards within the government itself, and strong implications that the conservative Christians in Korea were a significant factor in the ban.
Korea is the only country in Asia to have put an age ban on Lady Gaga’s tour.
The ban touched off a backlash by fans, teens and cultural critics, who say the authorities at the very least have underestimated the intelligence of Korea’s youth – and at the worst have made the country look stupid. They pointed out that Lady Gaga has performed in Korea before, in 2009, and then anyone over age 12 could go.
Remember the excuse that “Just Dance” was the reason the concert was banned in Korea? Well it came out in 2008. So yeah.
The board said one song from the concert’s set list, “Just Dance,” was the main reason for the age ban.
“In July 2011, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family added the song ‘Just Dance’ on their list of ‘harmful content for youth,’” Ahn Chee-wan, an official at the ratings board, told the Korea JoongAng Daily. “Along with this song, we also looked at several music videos by the artist and decided that the content was too provocative for children under 18.”
The ministry’s Commission on Youth Protection is in charge of reviewing songs by local and foreign artists and deciding age limits for them. “Just Dance” was banned for children under 18 last year because its lyrics mention “drinking and other provocative behavior,” according to the commission.
Soon afterwards, the ministry released a statement that read, “The Korea Media Rating Board’s claim that the age rating for the Lady Gaga concert in Seoul was changed because the song ‘Just Dance’ is one of the songs that our ministry named as content harmful for youth is not true.”
“We [the Gender Equality Ministry] have nothing to do with this decision by the rating board regarding the change in age limit for the Lady Gaga concert,” an official at the ministry told the Korea JoongAng Daily. “I don’t know why the board is involving us in this matter.”
So the Ministry Of Gender Equality And Family‘s Commission On Youth Protection basically just told the Korea Media Rating Board not to blame the mess they created on them … publicly.
So much for hiding behind one song, huh?
The ministry added that in similar cases, including Usher’s concert in 2010 and the Maroon 5 last May, the rating board approved the concerts for people over 12, despite the fact that both concert set lists included songs that were banned for teens under 18 years old.
Again, the fact that there’s explicit content in certain songs isn’t the reason.
So what’s really up here?
Conservative Christians, basically.
Despite numerous local media reports connecting the age limit to anti-Lady Gaga protests by conservative Christian groups and other civic organizations, the board adamantly denies it.
“The protests against Lady Gaga, including the formal letter we got from the Korean Association of Church Communications, had no influence on our decision concerning the Lady Gaga concert,” said Ahn, of the rating board.
Sim Man-sup, the managing director of the Korean Association of Church Communications, told the Korea JoongAng Daily that he feels the group’s efforts were recognized by the government and he’s proud of that.
“I think Hyundai Card, as part of one of the biggest conglomerates in Korea, has the responsibility to not only think about their profits but contributing something good for society,” said Sim.
“This Lady Gaga concert they organized, we feel, was too commercially-driven,” he said, “without the organizer thinking of the damage it would do to our children.”
They say that the Christian groups have no connection to the ban, and while that worked on some people when they still had the facade of certain songs being the true reason, that facade has now been ripped away from them, and they have really nothing else to hide behind.
Some religious figures and parents have said Lady Gaga’s song “Judas” promotes satanic beliefs. Another controversial topic relates to Lady Gaga’s supposed promotion of homosexuality.
“Every country Lady Gaga performs in becomes more lenient towards homosexuality,” said Sim.
NOT MORE LENIENT
“Even in Korea, after she performed in 2009,” he said, “there were civil protests in support of the gay community in Korea. Homosexuality is not a normal sexual orientation. Lady Gaga is helping to spread the culture surrounding homosexuals and making it an issue.”
All I’m gonna say is that every gay dude I know wishes it was that easy to make a straight guy love cock. Just saying.
There, how’s that for imagery? You guys gay yet?
Anyway, Lady Gaga’s Korean fans are understandably pissed and many are speaking out. However, much like Japan and America and everywhere else, the government doesn’t always listen to logic.