Performers face stronger penalty for skimpy outfits, lip-syncing

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Stronger penalties for violating performing arts regulations, including those that prohibit performers from wearing skimpy outfits on stage and lip-syncing at concerts, were issued on June 1.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism issued the new Instruction No. 65 at a conference in Hanoi, increasing the fine for both artists and show organizers involved in performances that include "inappropriate" outfits and/or lip-syncing from VND2-5 million to 15-25 million, reported Nguoi Lao Dong Newspaper yesterday.

In addition, violators will be banned from performing for three to six months. Repeat offenders will be banned from six months to two years.

However, according to most participants at the conference, held two weeks after a May 18 online conference on the same topic, the new punishment is still not strong enough.

"The fine is still too little to act as a deterrent, in comparison to the artists' high incomes and the organizers' high profits," said Pham Quang Long, Director of Hanoi's Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Artist Vu Manh Dung of the Vietnam Opera Ballet Theater said fines should be applied on a sliding scale.

"We need to categorize the artists according to their popularity," Dung said. "The more famous they are, the heavier punishment they should receive."

Model Thuy Hang, director of Elite Vietnam, said that the instruction was incomplete because it unfairly punished models -- who have no choice but to wear the clothes they are hired to wear in order to make a living -- and did not penalize designers who push their skimpy outfits.

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"In fashion shows, designers are the ones who make the clothes offensive or not...models are just living mannequins," said Hang.

"For music shows, the designers advise the singers who wear their clothes on stage."

A report by Vo Trong Nam, deputy director of HCMC's Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said the department had fined 11 singers and models for stage performance violations in the first five months of this year, in comparison with eight cases in all of 2011.

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