Members of K-pop boy band 24K were among the thousands of high-profile South Koreans blacklisted under the governments of now-imprisoned former presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, according to a report by Sports Kyunghyang.
On May 9, an investigative committee associated with South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released a report that confirmed that 342 organizations and 8,931 individuals were blacklisted from the start of Lee’s administration in 2008 until 2015; Park was ousted last year amid corruption charges.
The blacklist affected 2,468 people in the South Korean film industry, 1,707 involved in the literary world, 1,593 thespians, 824 individuals working in visual design, 762 people involved in traditional arts, 313 broadcast-related Koreans, and 574 people working in the music industry. 24K was the only K-pop act affected, with members Cory, Kisu, Seokjune, Byungho, and Daeil appearing on the list alongside a manager. Of the five 24K members blacklisted, only Kisu and Cory remain with the group.
A source from 24K’s agency Choeun Entertainment told Sports Kyunghyang that it is suspected the act was blacklisted after singing the theme song for Moon Jae-in’s 2012 election campaign, according to Soompi. Moon has since succeeded Park as president, and commemorated his second anniversary in office as the President of South Korea on May 10.
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The blacklisting affected the boy band’s career, making it impossible for 24K to appear on certain television shows in South Korea. The group underwent several lineup changes and focused on overseas activities during the period of their blacklisting, They toured Stateside earlier this year.
24K plan to release a new Korean album later this month with six members.
Billboard has reached out to Choeun Entertainment for comment.