Winter Olympics: NBC Apologizes for Analyst's Remarks on South Korea and Japan

With the 2018 Winter Olympics fully underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, NBC found itself apologizing for what one of its analysts blurted out during Friday's opening ceremony broadcast.

During the broadcast, which was a replay of the ceremony from early Friday morning, Joshua Cooper Ramo joined hosts Katie Couric and Mike Tirico as various countries made their way out into the arena waving their respective flags. Ramo's comments were initially criticized for being bland, but he sparked some outrage when he pointed out Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

Ramo pointed out that Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945, following it up with, "but every Korean will tell you that Japan as a cultural and technological and economic example has been so important to their own transformation."

Ramo's comment prompted thousands of people to sign a petition demanding an apology for Ramo, as many Koreans in fact don't see Japanese colonialism as a positive outcome. One such example cites historians as saying tens of thousands of Korean women were sold into sex slavery by the Japanese army.

NBC issued an apology during its Saturday broadcast

"We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments," one of the anchors said. According to The Washington Post, the network issued a second apology in writing, and said, "We're very gratified that (the PyeongChang Olympics) has accepted that apology."

Ramo, who won an Emmy Award for his commentary during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, will reportedly no longer be on assignment for the duration of these Olympics.


NBC and NBC Sports will air Olympic events daily up through Feb. 25.