Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Popular K-pop band Blackpink is under fire in their native South Korea for their depiction of nurses in a recent music video.
The Korean Nurses Association, South Korea's oldest professional organization for nurses, said Tuesday in statement they condemn the sexualized image of a nurse in Blackpink's music video Lovesick Girls, South Korean media service XSportsNews reported.
"One scene in the music video, where band member Jennie wears a nurse's cap, a short skirt and high heels, turns nurses into sexual objects," the group said, adding they sent a "letter of protest" to YG Entertainment, Blackpink's agency.
On Tuesday, YG expressed "concern" and issued an apology. But the agency also defended creativity.
"The scene in which a nurse and patient appear reflect the lyrics," the agency said, quoting the song's lyrics, "No doctor could help when I'm lovesick."
"There was no specific intention," the agency said.
The Korean Nurses Association dismissed the agency's explanation and said the "sensational nurse's outfit" is irrelevant to the theme of the song.
"Rather than call it a genre of artistic creativity, the video lays bare the tendency toward sexual objectification of nurses" in South Korean society, the group said.
"Sexual scenes like these should not be passed off as art, if we are to eliminate the distorted image of nurses" and other healthcare workers, the group said.
The dispute between nurses and South Korean entertainment comes at a time when concern is rising about women in the medical profession in the country.
According to data from the Korean Medical Women's Association, a professional group representing women doctors, about 1 out of 3 women physicians said in a 2019 survey they had experienced "sexual harassment or sexual violence" in the workplace, News 1 reported Tuesday. Only 1.7% of male doctors surveyed said they had been sexually harassed or violated, the report says.
Women doctors surveyed said the harassment included unwanted physical contact, being evaluated on their appearance, and being asked to sit next to male supervisors at events involving alcohol.