Last week, the Korean Broadcasting Station (KBS) banned Crayon Pop’s ‘Uh-ee’ for using the Japanese word “Ppika” meaning “shiny”. Groundbreaking stuff right? In the spirit of absurdity, we compiled a list of notable banned K-pop music videos along with the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family’s (MOGEF), or broadcasting station’s flimsy arguments for banning them. Korea has, as some would call, cultural neurosis over anything sexually suggestive and seeks to protect the younger generation from inappropriate imagery and behavior. As such, with music’s huge influence on children and teenagers here MOGEF goes through extensive evaluations to do so. However, this paves the way for controversy (especially with K-pop fans) when it seems that there are no clear guidelines, making one music video acceptable and the other obscene.

With that, we give you our top 5 picks of banned K-pop music videos and the wide range of reasons behind them. If you have any kind of exposure to other K-pop MVs, you’ll probably find yourself bewildered by some of these choices made by KBS and MOGEF as well.

Crayon Pop – Uh-Ee

Banned by KBS for the use of the Japanese word “Ppika”. The word has ties to Imperialist Japan. Therefore, they had them rerecord the offensive word and replace it with the Korean equivalent “Bbunjjuk”. (Note the video itself wasn’t banned, just that the song had to be rerecorded if CP wanted to release it.)


Orange Caramel – Catallena

Banned by KBS for a scene that “disregards human life”. Apparently, girls wrapped in plastic while dressed as mermaids (although weird – don’t get me wrong) does not fit in with KBS’s moral code.


Psy – Gentleman

Banned by KBS because Psy kicks over a traffic cone within the first few seconds of the video. This display of anti-social behavior could easily be imitated by children causing a generation of disorderly teens that won’t obey the law. Anarchy ensues.


Lee Hyori – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Banned by MOGEF for various traffic violations and demonstrations, such as driving without a seat-belt, dancing on top of buses, and getting down in the middle of a street. A street that’s closed off for filming. Yeah.


Brown Eyed Girls – Abacadabra

Banned by MOGEF for provocative BDSM themes, boob touching, and lesbian kissing. I guess we won’t be seeing any Britney Spears and Madonna type action going on here anytime soon…


The rules don’t just apply to music, however. Check out this humorous list of other random things that have been banned, such as phallic-shaped snacks and online tetris here.

Have any other banned K-pop music videos in mind that you think should’ve made the cut? Share with us in a comment below!

Sources: WSJ | Soompi | Time | Mtviggy | Buzzfeed

About The Author

A California native with a passion for travel, JT has been living in Korea for the past two years. A health fanatic and a seeker of knowledge, JT co-founded SeoulSync because of a desire to create something larger than he could ever become alone.