S. Korea passes ‘JYJ bill’ preventing banning of stars on TV without fair reasoning

November 30, 2015
JYJ (Yonhap)

JYJ (Yonhap)

Fans are one step closer to seeing K-pop favorites JYJ on television.

The so-called “JYJ Bill” — which prevents Korean broadcasters from banning celebrities from airwaves without fair reasoning, and introduced by Assemblywoman Choi Min-hee – was passed by the National Assembly, according to Yonhap.

According to the bill, broadcasters in violation of banning celebrities from their programs without legal reasoning will be fined for up to 2 percent of revenue or forced to issue a correction by the Korea Communications Commission.

JYJ, comprised of former members of TVXQ, one of SM Entertainment’s biggest acts, was used as an example in the proposal of the bill.

Its three members, who left SM in 2010 following a contract dispute, have not been able to star on a majority of broadcasts as a group — including music shows or variety programming — despite several album releases.

In October 2009, Seoul Central Court ordered an injunction against SM Entertainment to halt its involvement in preventing JYJ’s television activities. In February 2011, it gave a court order to the agency to pay 20 million won, or about $17,250, for each violation.

In 2013, SM received an order to cease meddling with JYJ’s broadcast appearances by the Korea Fair Trade Commission.

Last year, JYJ was not invited to perform at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games despite being the event’s official ambassadors.

In April this year, the appearance of JYJ member Kim Junsu on EBS music program “Space Sympathy” made headlines. It was the singer’s first TV music show appearance in six years.

“Through the passing of this bill, we’ve secured the rights of both celebrities, including JYJ, who have faced unfair broadcast bans, and of viwers,” said Choi, who is of the New Politics Alliance Democracy party.

“We have fought unfair practices for seven years and are thankful that the masses agreed with our efforts,” JYJ agency C-Jes Entertainment said. “Through this bill, we hope unfairness subsides in the entertainment industry.”

The effectiveness of the bill remains to be seen — the court has no jurisdiction over the rights of production directors’ decision-making in casting stars.

“It’s hard to be optimistic about seeing this bill as a direct road to seeing JYJ on music programs,” one director at a K-pop idol agency told Yonhap. “But producers will now try their hardest to operate fairly under the new law.”