Lesbian Kiss Has Korean Regulators Weighing ‘Obscenity’ Violations

Rhett Pardon

SEOUL — Korea’s communications regulator is weighing whether cable channel JTBC should be held civilly liable for airing lesbian kissing scenes between two schoolgirls in its drama "Detectives of Seonam Girls High School."

An “obscenity” complaint was filed against JTBC for airing the Feb. 25 and March 4 episodes, and the Korea Communications Standards Commission convened a subcommittee Wednesday to discuss whether to take measures against the broadcaster.

Korean broadcasting standards state that programs should not depict content related to sex in an "obscene manner," or air content that goes against "viewers' ethical standards." The program had been rated for viewing by those 15 or older.

JTBC denied "Detectives of Seonam Girls High School" violated the country’s communications standards.

A Korea Communications Standards Commission spokeswoman told The Korea Times that the subcommittee will determine whether the broadcaster should be subject to a fine or other regulatory measures such as a warning.

It is the first time displays of affection between schoolgirls have become a subject of deliberation for the regulator, the Korea Times said in a news item today.

“The country remains highly conservative when it comes to the broadcast of sexual content, and homosexual content in particular,” the Korea Times said.

The "Detectives of Seonam Girls High School" kissing scene can be viewed here.