Saturday, February 25, 2012

Block B's new apology: 'We never meant to hurt anyone'

Boy band Block B issued another apology to Thailand for their actions during a TV interview that people interpreted as being insensitive to the recent flooding in the Southeast Asian country. The controversy has gotten out of hand, with the boy band being pummeled by criticisms with Korean netizens even launching an online suicide petition against Block B.

The cyber-bullying has severely affected the group that Block B member P.O was hospitalized on Feb. 24. His agency said he was under so much stress since the controversy broke out and was shocked to learn that netizens have filed an online petition for the group's suicide.

In addition to their written apologies posted online a few days ago, Block B recorded a video message, reiterating that they were sorry and felt very embarrassed about what happened in Thailand.

“We never meant to hurt anyone,” the group said in the video uploaded by their agency on YouTube. In the video, Block B bowed their heads to 90 degrees to mean that they are truly sorry. “We are very sorry for the things that happened in Thailand recently. The fact that we didn’t think that our actions and damage [to] the Thai people was very stupid and embarrassing and we don’t know how to ask for your forgiveness,” they said.

They added, “We acknowledge that we made a hasty judgment of the atmosphere of the location and that was very selfish and we are greatly sorry. We never meant to hurt anyone but it was childish and we are very sorry for causing harm. I know we can’t stand before you right now and we hope you will watch the change in our actions and in us. We will carefully look back at ourselves, learn and improve. Again, we would like to bow our heads and apologize.”

The controversy stemmed when Block B was interviewed in Thailand by online media RYT9, which uploaded the video online. International fans have expressed their support to Block B and appealed to Thai people to forgive them. They added that the interview was misinterpreted and mistranslated that sparked the whole controversy.

In the interview video, members were informed about the charity event they would be doing the following day in Thailand and member Kyung said, “It’s great.” Leader Zico asked Kyung about the donations he usually makes. Kyung said he donates part of his money to charity “because donating is helping,” based on translations by

The interpreter then asked the boy band if they were aware of the floods in Thailand to which Zico said, “Yes, we know it.” The interpreter told them that the following day’s event was for the flood victims. Zico replied, “We think that everyone must have suffered greatly due to the floods, and we hope that this monetary compensation can help them recover. We have nothing but money.”

Kyung asked Zico how much money he had at the time and Zico said “7,000 won” that elicited laughter from the members. Netizens misinterpreted this to mean that Block B members were making fun of the Thai floods when in fact, the joke was about Zico having only 7,000 won at the time and not about the floods. The misinterpretations and mistranslations fueled the anger against the boy band.

Immediately after the controversy erupted, Block B members posted their respective apologies online. Korean TV music shows have decided to restrict Block B’s appearance due to the current situation.


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