PSY In Damage Control For Wanting Americans Dead

PSY is apologizing for “inflammatory and inappropriate language” that called for the murder of American soldiers and their families in 2004.  Should we accept his apology and move on or make him a footnote in the history of music just hours before he’s expected to perform a holiday concert for the President?

“Gangnam Style” by PSY is now the most watched video ever on YouTube, surpassing Justin Bieber’s “Baby Baby”.

I never jumped on the band wagon and I never did that excruciatingly painful dance routine, even though the video is fun the first few times you watch it.


However, the soon-to-be 35-year-old South Korean, born Park Jae-sang, is in hot water now and is in full damage control for controversial anti-war comments he made eight years ago protesting American involvement in the Iraqi war.  He’s also protested against the American military presence in Korea two years before that.


He’s scheduled to perform tonight for President Barack Obama and his family for the annual “Christmas in Washington” concert and there’s a part of me that wants his invitation revoked.

I think the Christmas special would be just as festive with performances by Diana Ross, Demi Lovato, Megan Hilty, Scott McCreery, and Chris Mann.  The timing just isn’t right for PSY to perform in light of the recent revelations about his 2004 protest performance.  I think he should take the high road and drop out.

Before I go on, I believe in full disclosure.  In 2003, I was fully opposed to President George W. Bush’s decision to declare war on Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

Now, back to PSY.


Back in 2004, he performed a song called “Dear American” with the lyrics,

“Kill those f—ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those f—ing Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully.”

Billboard magazine is reporting this back story to the song, it’s “in response to the murder of a South Korean missionary in Iraq. The context is important: An Islamist group videotaped the beheading of missionary Kim Sun-il after the South Korean government refused to cancel plans to send 3,000 troops to aid the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.”

On Friday, he made this statement to MTV News:

“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 song I was featured in — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time,” the statement read. “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 anyone 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 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 though music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”


I know he’s apologized for comments he made eight years ago.  So, do we say, “we accept your apology” and move on or do we call radio stations and demand they stop playing “Gangnam Style”, which has already gone #1 in countless countries across the world and has been downloaded more than four million times.

The bottom line is that we live in a country that isn’t too forgiving.

Remember, in March 2003, ten days before the start of the Iraqi War, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”  That commented basically ended the Dixie Chicks’ country music career.  To me, what Natalie said in 2003 and what PSY said in 2004 are not even in the same league!

If you want to read my April 12th blog about the Dixie Chicks, here’s the link:

What are you thoughts?


3 responses to this post.

  1. Okay, I’m of two minds about this. Most of me is like, “It was EIGHT YEARS AGO. Is it really fair to judge someone based on what they did almost a full decade in the past? Probably not.” But what he said was so completely over the line* that it’s a little unrealistic to expect there to be no fallout. Although this is also the music business, which means that if you’re successful enough, you can basically do whatever (unless, of course, you’re in country music) and expect little more than a slap on the wrist.

    Look at the Chris Brown thing, you know? That’s far more recent and it hasn’t hurt his career at all.

    * = because it wasn’t even just “kill the soldiers who torture people,” it was “kill those soldiers and all their relatives!”


  2. Posted by Larry Newingham on December 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I sure hope the President changes his mind and not allow this man to perform. this is a insult to the American military


  3. Posted by Deb Griffin Senko on December 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I don’t know. I think I am kind of mixed on this matter. When I first saw your blog and started reading it I thought there is no way this guy should be allowed to enter the United States and perform. But the guy said he has lived here most of his life and has been educated here. Its like a tragic death is where he is coming from. Innocent civilians were killed & maybe someone from his family for all we know and were probably killed by US forces. He is angry as we would probably be as well. We go through those stages of death and some people really take it different and much harder. Basically everyone is different and with him being a musician and living in the US as he has, he knows of the freedom of speech. We allow so many freedoms with speech. It was 8 years ago and when war is raging who knows what might come out of people’s mouth. I personally don’t care for him & his little dance that is the rage!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: