NBC apologizes to Koreans for Japan comment

Abe of Japan at a women’s hockey game between Japan and Sweden at the 2018 Olympics. Credit Jae C. Hon

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. While introducing Japan, Ramos said the following, "Every Korean will you that Japan is a cultural, and technological, and economic example, has been so important to their own transformation".

This set off a firestorm of criticism from Koreans around the world, many who pointed out that Japan brutally occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945, which led to untold suffering and the country splitting into to two parts.

Since making the ignorant and controversial comment, thousands took to various social media platforms to express their discomfort and anger.

"But every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation", The Korea Times quotes Cooper Ramo as saying.

The petition and other complaints prompted NBC to apologize during its Olympics coverage on cable platform NBCSN on Saturday.

"We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments", one of the anchors said.

"Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during WWII, would find such statement deeply hurtful and outrageous", the petition reads while flatly rejecting the analyst's remarks. That split gave us North Korea and South Korea, and a long history of conflict between the nations that continues to this day.

Ramo, a former journalist at Time magazine, is co-CEO at Kissinger Associates and had been hired temporarily by NBC to bring historical context to its coverage.

NBC also confirmed that Ramo's assignment to assist with Olympic coverage - which was meant to be temporary - has now been terminated.

As of Sunday afternoon, Ramo's biography had been removed from the NBC Sports Pressbox website, which includes pages devoted to all the network's talent.

We apologized quickly both in writing and on television for a remark made by one of our presenters during Friday night's Opening Ceremony.



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