December 11, 2012
It recently emerged that PSY, the South Korean pop-star of Gangnam Style-fame, took part in an anti-American rally in Korea in 2004 where he sang some downright awful things about killing “Yankees.”
Leaving aside our personal feelings on these odious comments, PSY and his handlers faced a serious reputational hurdle. How’d they respond? In short, very well. The below statement seems genuinely personal and apologetic. It also put the statements in context without seeming to try to downplay the response.
We (reluctantly) tip our hat.
“As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song I featured on in question from eight years ago—was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.
I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months—including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them—and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it’s important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music, I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that thru music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”