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K-pop idols

K-pop girl band Blackpink’s ‘indecent’ miniskirts prompt backlash in Indonesia as watchdog cancels TV ad

  • The order followed a petition signed by more than 100,000 people asking the commission to cancel the ad
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 9:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2018, 9:22am

A television ad featuring members of K-pop supergroup Blackpink dressed in miniskirts has been banned from Indonesian airwaves, prompting a furious backlash from fans.

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission ordered 11 domestic television stations to yank the commercial late on Tuesday, saying it was indecent.

The order followed a petition signed by more than 100,000 people asking the commission to cancel the ad – which in turn sparked a tit-for-tat campaign calling for the expulsion of the woman who launched the original petition.

The ad features four members of the top-selling Korean girl band singing and dancing to promote Shopee, an Indonesian online retailer.

Indonesia’s broadcasting watchdog said the ad flouted moral norms in the world’s biggest Muslim majority country.

“Companies need to be careful when they’re making a commercial that they don’t associate their product with something Indonesians see as negative,” commission head Hardly Stefano said in a statement on Tuesday.

Shopee called the commission’s remarks “very valuable input”, but added that the ad had been given the green light by another government agency before its airing.

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The decision to ban the ad was widely panned by Blackpink fans in Indonesia.

“This is too much – you can see women dressed that way in any mall in Indonesia,” said Disna Harvens. “It’s not vulgar at all.”

Blackpink has quickly become a household name at home and among K-pop fans overseas with their signature hip hop-infused music, impeccably choreographed dance routines and edgy fashion styles.

They also stand out in a K-pop industry largely dominated by boy bands.