By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
The Korean government will implement a new law that will protect aspiring K-pop artists and actors against abuse by unscrupulous entertainment agencies.
Under the new law by Korea’s National Assembly, those who will establish an entertainment agency in South Korea will have to get approval from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
|Actress Jang Ja-yeon, who appeared on ‘Boys over Flowers,’ committed suicide in March 2009 (Photos by www.newsen.com)|
It aims to “prevent young and naive singer and actor aspirants — estimated to be nearly one million nationwide — from falling victim to ‘rogue’ agents who have been accused of exploiting their clients in a bid to maximize profits,” according to a report by the Korea Times.
Tougher rules will be implemented. The board of directors of an agency must have at least one member who has a minimum of four years in the entertainment industry.
An agency that has been punished for any crime will not be allowed to operate.
Agency people who will be found guilty of pandering trainees will face imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of 100 million won (about P4.2 million).
Aspiring singers and actors will be allowed to train between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. per day or a maximum of 40 hours per week.
South Korea’s star system is one of the toughest. Singer wannabes, for example, train for years before they are allowed to debut.
“With these new rules, we will have a healthier entertainment industry and make the overall pop culture and related businesses develop by restricting the number of agencies. We will continue working to toughen regulations in the future,” the Korea Times quoted the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as saying.
The report said the law was the work of Rep. Park Chang-sik who drafted the bill following the death of actress Jang Ja-yeon in 2009.
Jang Ja-yeon played a minor role in the hit drama “Boys over Flowers.” She committed suicide on March 7, 2009 due to depression. A suicide note she left stated that she was forced to have sex with entertainment executives and VIPs.
The new law will be in effect in six months.
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