The rising popularity of alcohol-centric talk shows, such as "Nothing Prepared" and "SuChwiTa," featuring idols like BLACKPINK Jisoo, IVE Ahn Yujin, and BTS SUGA, has sparked a discussion on their potential effect on younger viewers. Despite warnings against underage drinking, Korean parents are worried that their children might be influenced by the behaviors showcased on these programs.

Effects on Young Fans

Joongang Daily recently published an article highlighting the growth of drinking-focused talk shows, including rapper Lee Young Ji's "Nothing Prepared," Jo Hyun Ah's "Thursday Night," and BTS Suga's "SuChwiTa."

Although these programs are not explicitly restricted to adult audiences, the presence of popular idols who attract young fans has raised concerns.

One parent was surprised when their 8-year-old child started asking questions about alcohol after watching IVE Yujin on "Nothing Prepared," prompting a wider conversation about the possible influence of such shows on youngsters.

Increase in Underage Drinking

Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of teenage drinkers in South Korea rose from 10.77% to 13%. Considering the legal drinking age in the country is 20, this increase is worrisome.

Experts assert that early exposure to a positive portrayal of alcohol could result in a higher likelihood of alcohol dependence or addiction in adulthood.

Varied Opinions on Accountability

There is a division of opinion on who should be responsible for teaching children about responsible alcohol consumption. Some believe the responsibility lies with parents and schools, while others argue that young children, particularly those in elementary school, should be protected from learning about alcohol.

Fans' comments reflect this divide, with some calling for improved education on responsible drinking and others questioning the need for alcohol-centered talk shows.

Regulation and Monitoring: A Necessity

Currently, there is minimal regulation or oversight for drinking talk shows. Existing guidelines do not encompass platforms like YouTube, leaving regulatory responsibility to the platforms themselves.

Health experts stress the importance of stricter regulations on alcohol advertising and the depiction of drinking in the media, akin to the limitations placed on tobacco products.

The Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare is presently considering revising their media guidelines to suggest age restrictions for YouTube broadcasts featuring alcohol consumption.

The influence of alcohol-themed talk shows on young viewers is generating debate. It is essential for parents, schools, and media producers to engage in conversations about responsible alcohol consumption. As these shows continue to gain popularity, implementing guidelines and regulations to safeguard susceptible audiences becomes increasingly important.