NBC Apologizes for Saying Japan Is an 'Example' for Koreans

NBC Issues Apology To Korean People After Correspondent's Insensitive Comment

NBC Issues Apology To Korean People After Correspondent's Insensitive Comment

During the live broadcast of Friday's opening ceremony, Joshua Cooper Ramo, a commentator for the US broadcaster's coverage of the Olympics, said, "Now representing Japan, a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945".

During the broadcast, which was a replay of the ceremony from early Friday morning, Joshua Cooper Ramo joined hosts Katie Couric and Mike Tirico as various countries made their way out into the arena waving their respective flags.

Upon hearing this introductory statement, many were upset and angered as the analyst glossed over South Korea's painful history of Japanese colonial rule which lasted from 1910 to 1945, filled with the marginalization of the Korean culture, executions, exploitation of the people, and other violations of human rights. He was noting the significance of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit. In fact, thousands signed a petition demanding that NBC apologise for Ramo's statement.

"But", Ramo continued, "every Korean will tell you that Japan as a cultural and technological and economic example has been so important to their own transformation".

His incorrect and insensitive comment about Korea's history has enraged many of its people. Many South Koreans, in turns, compare those sceptics to Holocaust deniers. They also criticized the accuracy of giving Japan credit for South Korea's resurgence.

The network responded quickly after the backlash, announcing Ramo's assignment with the Olympics is now over, and NBC offered an apology both in writing and during the broadcast. The petition was titled, "Demand apology from NBC for defending Japanese imperialism during the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony". He shared an Emmy Award for his commentary during Beijing's Summer Games in 2008.

The organizing committee could not immediately be reached for comment.

NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp, is the exclusive USA broadcaster of the Olympics and is producing more than 2,400 hours of coverage over 18 days from Pyeongchang.

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