The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) has issued a disciplinary warning in relation to the recent kiss scene between two female students in the JTBC drama “Seonam Girls’ High School Investigators.”
A controversy arose after the scene was aired as part of the show’s February 25 episode. The KCSC has stated that they received many complaints from viewers after the episode was broadcast. The episode of “Seonam Girls’ High School Investigators” had been rated as appropriate for viewers over the age of 15.
A representative of the show previously responded to complaints by stating that while director Yeo Woon Hyuk was aware that it would be shocking for viewers, homosexuality was “a topic that needed to be discussed.” They went on to state that they based the scene on the experiences of homosexual students that they spoke to, and that they “went ahead with the scene in the hopes that diversity can be accepted and embraced.”
On April 23, the KCSC announced that as the result of their disciplinary hearings, they would be issuing a warning to the show. This is the third most severe of possible disciplinary actions.
The KCSC explained in a statement about their ruling, “We considered the fact that ‘Seonam Girls’ High School Investigators,’ which included a controversial scene in which two girl students kiss, had intended to seriously deal with issues of sex that today’s teenagers are concerned about. Nevertheless, this drama that was aimed at teenagers featured a long close-up of a kiss between two female students while it was dealing with the topic of homosexual relationships, and is therefore in violation of article 27 (maintenance of quality), and article 43 (cultivation of emotions between children and teenagers) of the broadcasting regulations.”
The Korean organization Rainbow Action Against Sexual-Minority Discrimination has been opposing the disciplinary hearings, and responded to the KCSC’s decision. They say, “Many international human rights organizations have reported that the discrimination and exclusion that is suffered by sexual minority youth stems not only from the legal system but also from societal prejudices. Therefore they say that campaigns to raise awareness, education about human rights, and diversity in the media is necessary.”
They go on to state, “The decision of the KCSC will act as repressive shackles upon the efforts of the media to promote the human rights of youth and of sexual minorities. Rainbow Action Against Sexual-Minority Discrimination strongly condemns the KCSC’s decision to issue a warning, and in order to nullify this decision, we will be taking further actions both domestically and internationally, such as petitioning the National Human Rights Commission.”