8-Member K-Pop Girl Group Denied Entry at LAX on Suspicion of Being Sex Workers: Band

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A K-pop group is alleging that U.S. authorities denied them entry at Los Angeles International Airport, suspecting they were sex workers.

“Oh My Girl,” an eight-member South Korean girl band, was held at LAX for more than 15 hours on Wednesday while being questioned by officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to a statement released by the group’s South Korean management company.

Representatives of WM Entertainment said in the statement that the group, which has several teenage members, was scheduled to perform at an event in Los Angeles and hold a photo shoot. Authorities appeared suspicious of the large amount of props and clothing the band and accompanying staff were traveling with, according to the statement.

“As young women, they were mistaken as ‘working women’ which has recently been a big issue in the U.S.,” the company wrote in the Korean-language statement. Representatives also hinted at a visa problem, writing that the group “did not need a performance visa” because they were participating in a promotional event rather than holding a solo concert.

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