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Sexual harassment and monster parents’ invasion: Hwasa’s performance controversy’s heated debate

In regards to the controversy surrounding the performance of singer Hwasa, there has been a difference in perspective between the parents’ association and the public culture industry.

On the 11th, during the CBS Radio program ‘Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show’, an interview was conducted with Shin Min-hyang, the representative of the Association for the Protection of Parental Rights of Student Rights, and Kim Heon-sik, a public culture critic, to discuss the controversy surrounding Hwasa’s performance.

First, Representative Shin explained the background behind why she filed a complaint against Hwasa. She stated, “Hwasa’s actions could have a greater negative impact since they were seen by a larger number of the general public compared to Barbare Man.”

Regarding criticisms of excessive reaction, she pointed out, “Even though it’s a performance, it should be carried out depending on the place and the people. It should not be conducted like a terror attack on a large group of people in an unexpected place.”

When Hwasa recently mentioned that she had a difficult time due to malicious comments following the controversy through a YouTube content, Representative Shin expressed her concern, saying, “The lack of reflection is a bewildering aspect.”

Critics of the complaint, such as Kim Heon-sik, a critic, conducted a phone interview, representing the perspective of the public art industry. He stated that he believes that the complaint from the Association for the Protection of Parental Rights of Student Rights was an excessive interference by a kind of ‘monster parents’ group into artistic freedom.

Referring to the recent incident of a teacher’s death at Seocho High School, he said that it is one of the behaviors that excessively intervenes in everything due to the reason of children’s education. He also analyzed the Hwasa situation as a case of ‘monster parents’ group’ in the context of artistic freedom.

He mentioned, “The fact that a third party, the parents’ group, which was not present at the performance venue, made a complaint, and the police intervened is not appropriate from the perspective of the basic spirit of art and freedom of expression. This seems to be a case where parents, simply because they are parents, and to protect their children, called the police and entered the venue with an intent.”

He also highlighted that the controversy arose not during the actual performance but rather from a video taken on-site, which then spread online, leading to the parents’ association filing a complaint. He pointed out that responsibility should also be placed on the platforms that allowed it to spread and escalate.

Lastly, when discussing the standards for art and obscenity for K-pop singers, the critic stated, “The issue of sexualization of teenagers in their teens must be strictly prevented. However, Hwasa is known to be in her late twenties. It’s not as if teenagers are self-sexualizing and appealing. Furthermore, compared to Western pop, K-pop is relatively wholesome. It is necessary to distinguish K-pop as a whole from the genre of sexualization.”

It should be noted that recently, the Association for the Protection of Parental Rights of Student Rights filed a complaint against Hwasa for arousing controversy with a specific gesture during a university festival stage in May, and Hwasa has completed a police investigation related to the intent and background of the performance at that time.


Author Nat.O
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