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Authorities At LAX Mistook K-pop Group For Sex Workers, Agency Says
An eight-member K-pop group was detained for 15 hours at LAX because authorities thought they were sex workers, according to the group's agency.Oh My Girl (OMG) is an eight-member, all-girl K-pop group. They were headed to the United States to shoot images for an album cover and to perform at an event on Saturday. Upon landing at LAX, however, WM Entertainment—the band's agency—said immigration authorities searched the group's costumes and props, then decided to detain them, ABC reports.
"Then, probably because of their young age, they seem to have mistaken them as sex workers," a statement from the agency said.
The members of Oh My Girl are between 16 and 21, according to the BBC. It's not uncommon for K-pop groups to have young members, sometimes as young as 13 or 14 years old.
Oh My Girl was ultimately detained for 15 hours, then returned to Seoul, South Korea.
WM Entertainment said they're looking into whether or not it was legal for authorities to detain the group, and indicated there may have also been some problem with the band's visa.
Oh My Girl is a relatively new band, formed in March. In October, they released a track called "October."
The pop music industry in South Korea has been criticized for intense training of its young participants, and in 2012, Jang-Seok-woo, the CEO of Open World Entertainment, was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing several female trainees. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2013. South Korea has passed laws to curb the overtly sexual performances of the genre's young stars, and to prevent them from being overworked.