Any future “Foreigner-Gate”-related statements probably should be made by the station’s PR people, not people connected to the program itself.
I say this because it seems like any time somebody connected with the program opens his or her mouth, it just makes the problem worse. For example:
In response to the outcry from non-Korean viewers over the show, Kim Ji-wan, deputy chief of “Saesangbogi Sisigakgak,” said he couldn’t understand why foreigners were offended.
“We’re receiving a lot of calls [about the show] but I don’t understand what makes them angry. We all think the show is okay,” said Kim in a furious tone during a phone interview the Korea JoongAng Daily. “I watched the show several times and you’ve probably noticed—we said ‘some’ foreigners make trouble.
“But why are all these foreigners making a fuss over it? Maybe because they have a guilty conscience,” added Kim.
You know what makes this whole, stupid story so bemusing? It could have been handled so easily. A simple, “Sorry you were offended. We didn’t intend to cause offense, and will be more sensitive in the future” would have done, whether you meant it or not. Heck, it’s not like anybody really cared about the segment, anyway.
Instead, you’ve got the lead writer of the show saying, “We only tried to show that there is a difference in culture”; an MBC producer telling the WSJ of all people about “Korean women who are out of their sense and get involved in these kinds of affairs”; and finally this guy. I almost feel the last guy’s pain—I imagine he’s getting lots of nasty calls from both foreigners and perhaps from his superiors, and it’s clear he doesn’t understand why. I’d be pissy, too. But really, dude, “Maybe because they have a guilty conscience?” Jesus. As Matt put it:
Something to keep in mind, of course, is that criticizing MBC means not that MBC did something wrong, but that you did. Perhaps all mixed race couples out there owe MBC an apology for taking out their guilty consciences on such a well-meaning broadcaster.
Seriously, MBC, sit the program’s people down and tell them to keep their mouths shut any time a journalist calls. They aren’t helping. After you’ve done that, either do the classy thing and issue a statement of regret or something else resembling an apology or shut up and wait the angry foreigners out. Either way is better than what’s happening now.