The seven members of hip-hop group Block B recently learned a valuable lesson about tolerance. During an interview on the group’s recent trip to Thailand the members made controversial comments regarding Thai flood victims. Since then Block B has been condemned by the media.
The remarks made were meant to be sarcastic and playful, yet came off as in bad taste. Agency officials shared their feelings regarding the group’s immediate future. As scheduled, Block B appeared on the February 23 episode of MNET’s “M! Countdown.” During filming the members were solemn and tense while they spent time in the waiting room prior to their performance on the show. Local media StarIN caught with the members, but they weren’t in a state to be interviewed– instead questions were answered by their agency official.
Q: Were you informed of the situation in Thailand?
A: Absolutely not. During this trip to Thailand we were not aware of the situation there, but since I had no idea at first, I was quite shocked when the criticism was made by the fans. We were set to make an official apology on February 20, but the controversy was made public before we had a chance on February 19. The accusations spread out of control and I was unable to get myself together. Our timing was off and because of that everything was made even more difficult.
Q: Are you saying that the way it was handled was unfair?
A: My responsibility is clear. The members didn’t deserve 100% of the criticism they received. A handwritten apology was composed by the members, which was then typed up and posted. The members took a mental beating from the media and all I could do is shake my head. Block B responsible for anti-Korean sentiment abroad, to be destroyed by reckless, provocative claims like that in the newspaper just breaks your heart.
Q: How are you and the Block B members doing?
A: We’re in panic. Block B stands on the broadcast stage trying their best, yet I am considered insane for allowing them to do so. You can’t help but worry a lot. We wanted to make a successful idol. But instead they say those are the idols that did the evil.
Q: Has Thailand accepted the apology?
A: Again, our timing wasn’t right. We can say whatever we like but it is viewed as an excuse. It is too late now. We apologized and as of now we are unable to freely visit Thailand. There are discussions going on regarding this issue. If we shall ever be allowed to return is up to Thailand.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say?
A: We have apologized and asked for forgiveness. I was wrong. I, along with the members of Block B, am deeply sorry. I hope that we will have the opportunity to right this wrong. It is entirely my fault. Unlike the image they project, Block B is a fragile idol group. My hope is that one day you will forgive and embrace them once again.
In the span of the past few days the group has made many apologies, from changing their choreography to a deep bow at the end to their latest being in the form of a video message. Are Block B’s apologies enough? Do you feel that the media made things worse?