Korean stars cut from reality show broadcast

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/24 0:18:39

A television station in East China's Jiangsu Province cut or blurred the images of some South Korean stars in its broadcast of a reality show on Monday, intensifying suspicions that the Chinese government has banned Korean pop stars in the shadow of a missile defense system deployment.

The Global Times learned that Jiangsu Television cut shots or blurred the images of some South Korean stars, including "Gangnam Style" singer Psy and musical group iKON, during a broadcast of its reality show Gaishi Yingxiong on Sunday.

A fan of iKON who attended the recording of the show confirmed with the Global Times on Tuesday that iKON sang a song, but she "did not see them at all in the broadcast."

A Jiangsu Television employee told the Global Times that he does not know why the cuts were made and noted that the show is actually produced by an external company called Canxing Production Co. Canxing could not be reached for comment as of press time.

The employee also refused to comment on whether the incident has anything to do with a government ban on South Korean entertainment industry figures.

According to a report by The Seoul Economic Daily on August 4, the Chinese government plans to restrict any imports from the Korean entertainment industry starting on September 1. The report claims K-pop concerts in China will be cancelled, Korean dramas will be scrubbed from TV schedules and South Korean stars will be banned from Chinese talk shows.

However, the report has yet to be officially confirmed or responded to by Chinese authorities.

Many South Korean and Chinese media outlets have linked the ban to South Korea's deployment of the US' Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, which has soured China's ties with South Korea recently. China's foreign ministry said in a statement in July that China is "strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposes" THAAD's deployment in South Korea.

A talent agent surnamed Jia, whose company helps bring South Korean stars to China, confirmed with the Global Times that the company has received word of a ban and has suspended contact with its South Korean counterparts.

"There are no papers. The message probably passed through word of mouth. Everyone in this industry knows this," Jia added.

An employee at a Guangdong-based media outlet told the Global Times that any programs that feature South Korean celebrities have failed to get authorized recently, but those that were already approved will not be affected.

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