Scenes from "Lily Fever" / Courtesy of Naver TV Cast
By Ko Dong-hwan
The media content watchdog has warned the distributor of an online drama series about lesbian love.
The Korea Communications Standards Commission warned the nation's No.1 portal website Naver to use"voluntary restraint" after it posted video links to the drama entitled "Lily Fever," according to Hankook Ilbo, Monday.
The mandate came after netizens reported the drama's bold portrayal of homosexuality.
The watchdog was cited as saying homosexual love scenes in the drama "incited sexual curiosity and tempted viewers to imitate the acts in practice" thus "violating social orders in terms of ethical values."
It is the first time the governmental watchdog has issued a discretionary note to an Internet-based drama series, also known as a web drama.
The drama, made by web content developer Dingo Studio, is about an aspiring female K-pop singer, 20, who has a romantic fling with a former K-pop idol girl star. Comprising eight episodes with each running from three to six minutes, the drama was streamed via Naver from Dec. 15-24.
However, the KCSC warning has aroused opposing voices claiming the measure violates freedom of expression in the media. Until 2004, portraying homosexuality in the media was banned because it was ruled to be harmful to youth. But with the effort of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, the bar was lifted on the grounds that it violated constitutional equal rights and freedom of expression.
An online video streaming service provider said the government should introduce concrete guidelines for web contents.
"Although most companies have their own guidelines to control their web content, the idea of the companies voluntarily restraining themselves in doing so is very dangerous," said an insider at service provider,