List of K-pop music videos banned by South Korean television networks

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The following is a non-exhaustive list of K-pop videos that have been banned by one or more South Korean television networks, for reasons such as suggestive or offensive lyrics and imagery.

K-pop is a genre of modern pop music that originates from South Korea. It is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements, and K-pop singles will typically include a music video and a dance routine. There is a history of media censorship and conservatism in South Korea, and as a result, many risque or explicit K-pop songs or videos have been banned by South Korean broadcasting stations. Other reasons for banning include having Japanese lyrics, negatively influencing youth, or use of brand names.

KBS, MBC, and SBS are the three largest broadcasting and television networks, and they account for the vast majority of banned K-pop videos. As of September 2012, these networks had banned over 1,300 K-pop songs in the past three years alone.[1] This list only includes titular k-pop songs that have an accompanying music video, but many K-pop songs that were not title tracks have been banned as well.

List of banned K-pop videos[edit]

Song Title Artist Reason Banned By
"Gentleman" PSY Showing destruction of public property.[2] KBS
"Catallena" Orange Caramel "Devaluing human life" by having the members be wrapped in plastic packages.[3] KBS
"Turn It Up" T.O.P. Indirect advertisement.[4] MBC
"Joker" Dal Shabet Title is similar to crude Korean word for male genitalia, as well as explicit dance moves.[5] KBS
"Marionette" Stellar Explicit dance moves.[6] KBS
"Uh-ee" Crayon Pop Use of a Japanese word.[7] KBS
"Island" WINNER Homosexual imagery.[8] KBS
"Love Don't Hurt" Shannon Imagery of nudity, tattoos, and smoking.[9] KBS
"Dreaming i" F.CUZ Rebellious plot that could be a negative influence for teenagers[10] KBS
"I Remember" Bang Yong Guk Scenes containing shooting and other violence.[11] KBS
"Beep" Park Ji Yoon Excessive ending credit roll.[12] KBS
"Pass Me By" Brown Eyed Girls Use of trademark or brand names.[12] KBS
"I'll Call Ya" M.O.A. Poor video quality.[12] KBS
"Shower Later" Gary Mature, provocative content, curses, and inappropriate expressions.[13] KBS, MBC, SBS
"Bad Girls" Lee Hyori Problematic scenes including a student using a slingshot and a teacher who sexually assaults the students.[14] KBS
"Angel" Hoya Lyrics depicts sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.[15] KBS
"Instagram" DEAN Use of the Instagram brand name.[16] KBS
"DDD" EXID Cursing, derogatory terms, and indecent language in lyrics.[17] KBS
"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" Lee Hyori Depiction of traffic violations—driving without a seatbelt on, dancing on top of buses and in roads.[18] KBS
"How Dare You" SISTAR Pole dance move and belittling lyrics.[19] KBS
"Freeze!" Block B Lyrics describing unwholesome dating methods. It was banned twice, after the lyrics were edited.[20] KBS
"Paradise Lost" Gain Provocative dance moves.[21] KBS, MBC, SBS
"Lotto" EXO Title is a brand name.[22] KBS, MBC
"Cherry Bomb" NCT 127 Violent lyrics. Banned again after reconsideration.[23] KBS
"Fxxk It" Big Bang Inappropriate lyrics, including slang.[24] KBS
"Udon" Kang Min Kyung & Son Dong Woon Use of a Japanese word for the title.[25] KBS
"Boombayah" BLACKPINK Inappropriate lyrics and mentioning an alcohol brand.[22] KBS
"Rocket Girl" Stellar Violence and sexually suggestive content.[26] KBS
"We Like to Party" Big Bang Indirect advertisement and profanity.[27] KBS
"One More" FIESTAR Lyrics alluding to sexual activity with three people.[28] MBC
"Fly" Jessica Use of brand names.[29] KBS
"Full House" MOBB Use of brand name, derogatory remarks, and mention of drunk driving.[30] KBS
"Body" Minho Use of brand name.[30] KBS
"HOLUP!" Bobby Cursing, derogatory terms, Japanese lyrics, uses of brand names, and alcohol abuse.[30] KBS
"January" Beenzino Reference to Facebook.[31] KBS
"Dope" BTS Vulgar lyrics.[32] KBS
"Oh NaNa" K.A.R.D. Mention of Instagram.[33] KBS

Aftermath of bans[edit]


Often, the entertainment company that owns the banned song will try to revise the song and have its reevaluated by the broadcasting company. They may edit the music video and delete the controversial scenes and re-release the new video. Other times, they may alter the explicit dance moves or change a song's lyrics so that the song may still be performed on music shows, such as Music Bank. In the case of EXO's "Lotto," which as banned due to the title being a brand name, the group sang the word "louder" instead of "lotto" while performing the song live. This revision allowed the song to be performed on KBS and MBC music shows.[22]

Although K-pop songs and videos are often banned by KBS, is it less often for MBC or SBS to place a ban. Some groups are content to promote themselves on networks other than KBS and do not make any changes to their original material. In regards to PSY's "Gentlemen," a spokesperson for YG Entertainment said they had no plans to submit a difference version of their video, and they followed the decision made by KBS.[34]

When 12 out of 18 songs of Cheetah's album were deemed unfit for broadcast by KBS and five by SBS, the agency stated that they did not plan on making any changes to the lyrics in order to "keep the original intentions and meanings of the song."[35]

Fan reactions[edit]

Of all the broadcasting networks, KBS has banned the most songs and videos, earning it the nickname "Korean Banning System." When a more explicit video is released, fans have come to expect the video to be deemed inappropriate for broadcast by KBS.

There have been cases of fans arguing against a banning decision. When KBS deemed several of Block B's new songs as being unfit for broadcast, an online petition appeared, requesting that KBS reconsider their decision. It gained 2,400 signatures within a day.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ KpopStarz (2014-04-30). "What It Takes To Get A Song Banned From Broadcast Stations In Korea". KpopStarz. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  2. ^ "South Korean TV Network Bans Psy's 'Gentleman' Music Video".
  3. ^ "KBS Rules That Orange Caramel's "Catellena" MV Has Scene That "Disregards Human Life" | Soompi". Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  4. ^ "[News] MBC banned TOP's Turn it up". Daily K Pop News. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  5. ^ "Dal Shabet: Why Was K-Pop Group's New Music Video 'Joker' Banned? [Video]". The Inquisitr. 2015-04-25. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  6. ^ "엉덩이로 방아 찧고 돌린 '스텔라' 19禁 판정…"쉿! 케이블에선 다 보여줄게"" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  7. ^ Gale, Alastair (2014-04-03). "Crayon Pop's 'Uh-ee' Banned for Shiny Japanese Word". WSJ. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  8. ^ "KBS bans WINNER's 'Island' due to "homosexuality" imagery". SBS PopAsia. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  9. ^ "Shannon's MV for 'Love Don't Hurt' deemed unfit for broadcast due to nudity, tattoos, and smoking". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  10. ^ "F.CUZ's "Dreaming i" MV deemed unfit for broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  11. ^ "Bang Yong Guk's "I Remember" MV deemed unfit for broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  12. ^ a b c "Park Ji Yoon, Brown Eyed Soul, and M.O.A's MVs deemed unfit for broadcast by KBS". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  13. ^ "Gary's 'Shower Later' deemed unsuitable for broadcast by SBS". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  14. ^ "KBS deems Lee Hyori's "Bad Girls" MV inappropriate for broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  15. ^ "Hoya's 'Angel' deemed unfit for KBS broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  16. ^ "DEAN's 'Instagram' deemed unfit for KBS broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  17. ^ "EXID's comeback title track deemed unfit for KBS broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  18. ^ "Lee Hyori's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang MV gets banned". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  19. ^ "SISTAR's "How Dare You" fails KBS review". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  20. ^ "Block B's "Freeze!" gets banned for the second time without an explanation". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  21. ^ "Gain Goes In on New 'Hawwah' EP, Religion and South Korea's Conservative Music Industry". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  22. ^ a b c "EXO Changes Title Track "Lotto" For KBS And MBC Promotions | Soompi". Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  23. ^ "NCT127 '체리밤' KBS 재심의서 또 부적격 판정". 다음 연예 (in Korean). 20170621150650. Retrieved 2018-05-09. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  24. ^ "KBS bans Big Bang's 'Fxxk It' for 'inappropriate' lyrics". Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  25. ^ "Kang Minkyung, Dongwoon's 'Udon' single deemed 'unfit' for broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  26. ^ "KBS bans Stellar's debut MV, "Rocket Girl", for violence and sexually suggestive content". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  27. ^ "BIGBANG release "We Like 2 Party" music video". SBS PopAsia. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  28. ^ "FIESTAR's "One More" Banned by MBC for Threesome References | Soompi". Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  29. ^ "Jessica's new song 'Fly' banned on KBS". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  30. ^ a b c "KBS bans all of MOBB's songs except for 'Hit Me'". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  31. ^ "HyunA, Fei, Heize, and Beenzino's new tracks banned by KBS". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  32. ^ "Six of BTS's songs from new album deemed unfit for broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  33. ^ "DSP 측 "K.A.R.D '오나나', 재녹음 후 다시 KBS 심의 신청"". 비즈엔터. 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  34. ^ Kwaak, Jeyup S. (2013-04-18). "South Korean TV Network Bans Psy's Video". WSJ. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  35. ^ "12 songs in Cheetah's new album deemed unfit for KBS + agency says no changes will be made in lyrics". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  36. ^ "KBS deems Block B's new songs unfit for broadcast". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-05-09.