NBC apologizes for comments during PyeongChang opener

Frederick Owens
February 12, 2018

Sports was forced to issue an apology after an analyst made a boneheaded comment about the host nation live on Friday during the opening ceremonies of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945. "Now representing Japan, a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945".

Japan's 35-year colonial occupation of Korea was a controversial time that was marked by harsh rule and human rights abuse.

The broadcaster came under fire after Joshua Cooper Ramo, an Asian commentator for NBC, said during the march by Japanese Olympic athletes at the opening ceremony Friday that Japan played an "important" role in South Korea's recent achievements as a nation. Another asked if NBC would thank Japan for the attacks on Pearl Harbour.

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An online petition was set up asking the International Olympic Committee to "take a step" against NBC so that Ramo "can truly apologize" and "stop commenting". It has so far garnered over 9,000 signatures.

In spite of NBC's public apology that was broadcast live, many in South Korea and overseas said the apology was not enough, and Ramo should issue his own apology. Petitioners said anyone familiar with Japanese treatment of Koreans during that time would be deeply hurt by Ramo's remark. "And no, no South Korean would attribute the rapid growth and transformation of its economy, technology, and political/cultural development to the Japanese imperialism". It ended with Korea splitting into two countries at the end of World War II, a schism that remains to this day.

USA broadcaster NBC apologized to South Korea's winter Games organizing committee on Sunday after a commentator offended locals during coverage of the opening ceremony by straying into the sensitive issue of Japan-South Korean relations. His "insensitive" comment sparked a storm of complaints from Koreans on social media. The stipulations of the existing agreement are a fund of 1 billion yen ($8.8 million) to support the victims and an apology.

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