New Law Stops Teen Performers Working Nights

Aspiring performers under the age of 15 are not allowed to work overnight under a new law that goes into effect on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Monday said the law protects youngsters' right to learn, rest and sleep.

It bans youngsters under 15 from working between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., though they can work until midnight if they and their parents agree, but only on nights when there is no school the following day.

They can work a maximum of 35 hours a week, rising to 40 hours once they are over 15.

"We are trying to protect the basic rights of young entertainers as overnight work can put a considerable physical and mental burden on youngsters and infringe on their right to go to school," the ministry said.

But the entertainment industry, which is heavily reliant on teenagers for a profitable stream of manufactured bands and soap starlets, has criticized the law as ignoring the realities of showbusiness.

Dependence on young actors has grown, and scripts for TV dramas are often ready only shortly before shooting for each episode of a soap opera begins. That means it is rarely possible to cram all the shooting into an eight-hour day, it claims.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 29, 2014 13:02 KST