“Gangnam Style” singer PSY has been forced to apologize for a 2002 performance in which he rapped a verse including the words “F*****g Yankees” and “Kill them all slowly and painfully.”
In that 2002 performance, the South Korean sensation took part in a concert where he joined other artists on stage for a version of Korean rock group N.EX.T.’s song “Dear American.”
It was during that song that PSY — performing in gold face-paint — also lifted a miniature American tank and smashed it on the stage.
Viewed in context, the concert was a protest event against the presence of 37,000 American troops in Korea and a tragic death of two Korean schoolgirls who were run over by an American tank. [Note: The soldiers driving the tank were subsequently acquitted by a US military court.]
Following the release of the video of the concert in which PSY made the anti-US statements, a huge backlash erupted on social media sites this morning.
PSY’s lengthy apology reads:
“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 singer added:
“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 through music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source close to the multi-million selling singer said PSY’s statements in 2002 and 2004 were more of a general anti-war statement than “U.S.-specific.”