Most K-Pop fans are probably familiar with KBS — the Korean Broadcasting System — and how the network (along with MBC and SBS) periodically ban certain music videos from being aired on their station for various reasons, the most common of which are provocative dance moves and/or suggestive and explicit lyrics.
However, there have been some K-Pop music videos that were banned for much less common, and arguably less sensical, than these reasons. Here are 10 of the videos with some of the most ridiculous reasons for being banned by KBS!
1. “Kill This Love” by BLACKPINK
This may be one of the more well-known and seemingly weird instances of a music video being banned by KBS. In the music video, there is one scene where Rosé is shown not wearing a seatbelt. Because of this, KBS considered the music video to be “violating traffic laws and encouraging driving without a seatbelt”. It’s really too bad, because it’s such an aesthetic MV!
2. “Catallena” by Orange Caramel
It may be hard to fathom why such a silly and entertaining music video such as “Catallena” would be banned, but KBS did, even though SBS and MBC did not! KBS’s reasoning for their banning was due to the “devaluing of human life” by portraying the members as mermaids wrapped in plastic packages as well as dressed as sushi on rice.
3. “I’ll Call Ya” by M.O.A
This is probably the most disheartening reason on this list. M.O.A, a short-lived but talented girl group, had to make do with low budgets for their music videos. This ended up resulting in poor video quality for the “I’ll Call Ya” music video, which KBS considered too low quality to promote.
4. “Gentleman” by PSY
Superstar PSY isn’t a stranger to having his music videos banned by KBS! “Gentleman” in particular was banned due to its showing of the destruction of public property. The scene in question is when PSY is shown kicking a “no parking” cone in the video, and that’s all it took!
5. “Dreaming I” by F.CUZ
This music video’s plot was the “problem” that KBS had with airing it. Released back in 2012, the music video depicts the members doing such activities as skipping class to pursue their dreams and one member portraying a student with dyed hair, which was apparently against education rules. This “rebellious” plot was considered a negative influence for teenagers.
6. “Island” by WINNER
While LGBT+ representation might be, very slowly, becoming more accepted in South Korea, it’s still a subject of controversy among many, and KBS proved itself to be on the less accepting side of the issue with their banning of WINNER’s “Island”. The reason for the ban was due to the video’s “homosexual imagery”, particularly in the lyrics, “Just like a cocktail, shake it, I want to mix with you on the sofa.” If this seems pretty vague and unreasonable to you, you’re not alone!
7. “Going Crazy” by Jieung ft. Bang Yongguk
The reason that this collaboration was banned seems pretty straight-forward, if not still a bit strange. KBS said that the music video “encouraged crime and obsessive behavior”, which isn’t hard to see in the MV, but there are other videos that have similar sorts of themes that haven’t been banned!
8. “Beep” by Park Jiyoon
Okay, this might be the most ridiculous reason for a music video to get banned by KBS. The video itself doesn’t have any issues with its plot, language, or imagery, but the ending credits — which listed every staff member and celebrity that helped to produce the video — were considered “too excessive” and thus banned from broadcast!
9. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” by Lee Hyori
Similar to BLACKPINK’s “Kill This Love”, this Lee Hyori music video was banned for its “depiction of traffic violations”. While Lee Hyori, too, was seen driving without a seatbelt on, there were also scenes of people dancing on top of buses and on roads, all of which were considered inappropriate by the broadcasting network.
10. “Freeze!” by Block B
And finally, Block B’s debut track “Freeze!” was banned not only once, but twice by KBS, even after the lyrics were edited. The broadcasting network claimed that the lyrics described unwholesome dating methods, with the parts, “Send all of your friends home” and “I’m waiting for you right here” being particularly problematic. Even though the group resubmitted the song with the lyrics changed to “My eyes are already watching you” and “The night is waiting for you”, KBS still considered it too inappropriate to broadcast.