"Gangnam Style" Rapper Psy Apologizes for Anti-American Song

Psy, the popular "Gangnam Style" rapper, has apologized for anti-American lyrics in a 2004 song.

At a charity event, Psy met with President Obama and addressed the recent reports of his earlier protest song, "Dear American." The inflammatory words included, "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." In a 2002 concert, Psy smashed an American tank. 

Although an online petition called for Psy to be removed from the "Christmas in Washington" event at the White House, the show went on as planned. 


Through MTV, Psy issued this apology:

"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," the statement concluded. "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."

Discussion Starters:

  • Was allowing Psy to perform at the charity event the right decision? Why or why not?
  • What's your reaction to Psy's apology? What communication strategies does he use successfully-or not?