by CHRISTINE ABRAHAM Photographer
Although PSY may be everywhere in 2012, it is the Korean sensation’s 2002 performance that has made everyone reevaluate and forced him to apologize.
PSY took part in a concert in October where he joined other artists on stage for Korean rock group’s song “Dear American”. After taking the microphone, he spit a verse that said “[expletive deleted] Yankees” and their families, and that they should be killed painfully and slowly.
“I think that is really mean and outrageous. Why would he say something like this? ‘Gangnam Style’ would not have been so popular if it weren’t for all the Americans that watch it and like it,” said sophomore Kirsten Pasewaldt.
The concert took place months after the kidnapping and beheading of South Korean Missionary Kim Sun-il by an Islamist group who wanted to prevent the nation from sending 3,000 troops to support the US in Iraq.
The South Korean government backed down and the result was devastating. Kim was executed by a masked executioner, who taped the entire thing, stating,” Korean citizens, you were warned, your hands were the ones who killed him. Your soldiers are here not for the sake of the Iraquis, but for cursed Americans.”
Protests began in South Korea with controversy over the nation’s plans to send troops to Iraq. This also helped fuel anti-American sentiment in South Korea. After that event, PSY performed a protest concert in which he lifted an American tank above his head and smashed it onto the stage.
“I don’t care what happened in Korea. The only reason he would even apologize now is because his music became even more popular here,” said sophomore Jeffrey Gardiner.
On Friday, December 7, PSY released a statement, apologizing for the offending words. The statement was released to MTV news:
“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 was featured in — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time,” the statement read. “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 anyone 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,” the statement concluded. “While it’s important 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 though music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”