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Psy on Roof

PSY’s New Video Banned by Major South Korean Broadcaster

A day after its release, I wrote about PSY’s new video Gentleman. The title of the article posed a simple question: Was the content of the 3:54 clip an ode to being obnoxious or simply a clever piece of satire?

Apparently, some in the South Korean government are taking the position that it is the former, with one of the country’s major broadcasters, state-run KBS TV, banning PSY’s new video from network airplay. This coming as the unstoppable force that is PSY saw his new release clock 140 million views on YouTube.

While some Korean legislators have raised questions whether the 35-year-old rapper goes too far with scenes of risque humor throughout the video, including throwing a fart in a woman’s face in the public library to pulling the top off of a sunbather by the pool, KBS is citing the opening scene where PSY kicks over a traffic cone as the primary reason the video is being pulled.

According to KBS, the video runs counter to its standards as a public broadcaster, calling it inappropriate and likely to encourage a disrespect for public property.

In a statement released Thursday, the station said, KBS’s review standards…are different from the Internet, online broadcasters or cable channels. The statement added, ‘We strictly forbid any material that might disturb basic public order.’

Interestingly, this all comes as South Korea’s newly-minted president Park Geun-hye was glowingly praising PSY as an exemplary example of the country’s ‘paradigm shift’ from an economy based on manufacturing to one that embraces creativity. (Veiled dig at Samsung?)

According to Brian Ashcroft writing for online magazine Kotaku, while Park was praising PSY, other legislators were condemning him. One in particular raised concerns about the well-being of the library where PSY’s soon to be immortal fart shot was filmed:

[The] politician is currently criticizing the video’s library scene, expressing concern that it will become a famous PSY landmark. According to the politician, people will show up, wanting to take pictures, and the library will no longer be a quiet place to study and read. Just as long as they don’t throw farts in people’s faces!

The morality argument revolving the video is being tossed about in the American press as well. Writing in the Huffington Post, the publication’s celebrity editor You-young Lee, spoke of her parent’s reaction to the Gentleman video:

When I asked them, just this week, what they thought of the 35-year-old’s new single, ‘Gentleman,’ and its trying-too-hard music video, my mother responded: ‘I wouldn’t let my grandkids watch it!’ which, at the end of the day, is probably sage advice.

As stated earlier, I too have my own questions as to what PSY is doing with his immense fame (yes, I might very well have finally become my father), but a ban on the video? That’s way too much for my liberal-leaning mind.

Besides, it always (ALWAYS!) draws more attention to the object of scorn and defeats the intended purpose anyway. Once again, politicians on a platform of morality continue to be the greatest promoters of that which they seek to stop in the first place.



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