National Trending

Oh My Girl members misidentified as sex workers, detained at U.S. airport

Yonhap News
Written by Yonhap News


South Korean girl group Oh My Girl has been detained at a U.S. airport for 15 hours after its members were mistaken as sex workers, the group’s agency said Friday.

The eight-member act had no issue passing through immigration at the Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, but problems emerged when customs authorities started questioning the relationship between its members and the agency staff, WM Entertainment said.

One of the staff members mistakenly used the word “sister” to describe the relationship, and U.S. authorities seem to have taken the members as sex workers after examining their costumes and props, it added.

The group had arrived there for a photo shoot for their next album cover. They were also to promote themselves at the Unforgettable Gala of 2015, an event gathering Asian-American entertainers and producers in L.A. on Saturday.


After having their cell phones confiscated, however, the staff decided to fly the members back to South Korea, where they arrived earlier Friday.

WM Entertainment said no entertainer’s visa was necessary for the group to attend the event since it wasn’t a solo concert.

It also said it has hired a U.S. attorney to investigate whether the detention was unlawful.

About the author

Yonhap News

Yonhap News

Yonhap News is South Korea's largest news agency based in Seoul.

  • Kyrei

    {Gasp} How could *anyone* mistake these young girls for sex workers?? I am shocked. Shocked, I say.

  • kimcheefartz

    Haha, US Customs doesn’t know how right they were…

    Everyone in Korea knows K-Poop is a front for “luxury” prostitution.

  • AnonGamer

    What the actual f?

  • this bear is tops blooby

    sth sth Nicki Minaj

  • John Ash

    Who the hell cares one way or the other?!? This isn’t the job of government.

  • Dorothy Ogle

    In 15 hours why couldn’t immigration officials confirm the scheduled performance? If they don’t have a very good reason, they should be held accountable for the expense and disappointment of this group.

    • Kyrei

      Lack of proper visas?

  • littletime

    They don’t look like the seasoned druggie sex workers that used to patrol the streets in London E1

  • Wendilynn Kerezman

    I’m laughing so much. The girl group choreography is more like strip club moves than a good dance group. I wish the girls got to show up how funny and smart they are instead of having to act like they are prostitutes on stage.

    • Jojo

      Okay but I dont think you understand that these girls do not do any sexual choreography.. they used a picture where they covered snsd. Their concept is cute and girly.

      • Jojo
      • Wendilynn Kerezman

        my comment was for girl groups in general. Not just this group specifically. While this song’s concept is “little girl”, that will change. But as a whole, the girl groups promote a version of women that I don’t care for.

  • seventhbeacon

    Culture shock! 15 hours at any airport is enough to drive one insane!

  • Anonymous_Joe

    This from the L.A. Times says that the K-pop girl group was turned away because they lacked the proper performance visas: K-pop group was turned away at LAX for lying about reason for visiting U.S., official says

    This Wikipedia article (and other sources) tell the more credible and fuller story:

    On December 11, OMG flew to LA for a photoshoot for their next album jacket and to perform at a special event, but could not get cleared by customs to enter the US. The group claimed that customs mistook the girls for underage prostitutes due to props and outfits for their special performance at the Gala Event on the Saturday of that week, and that they were detained for 15 hours.[9] However, an official with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection later stated that the performers were lying about the reason for being denied entry. Upon seeing the contents of the performers’ luggage, customs officials determined the group was entering the U.S. to perform, not to go sightseeing as the group had claimed. As the group did not have the required P1 performance visa, they were denied entry. The customs official denied that the group was “detained” for 15 hours, noting that they were put on the first available flight back to Korea on the airline they traveled with.[10]

    Apparently, Oh My Girl’s agency planted in the compliant Korean media that the girl group had been turned away because L.A. immi mistook them for “working girls” as in prostitutes. The Korean media did not do any other verification and ran with the story as told by Oh My Girl’s management.

Click here not to show this pop-up box again.