Block B have released a video in which they once again apologise for the remarks they made in reference to the Thailand flooding of last year. Their behaviour in the interview was brought to the attention of a wider audience when 2PM member Nichkhun tweeted about it, expressing his distaste for Block B’s behaviour and insincere comments.
This was followed by apologies from each of the seven members of the group, and to show his deep regret leader Zico also shaved his head. This video, subtitled in Korean, English and Thai, is the latest attempt from the boys to show their remorse. However, public opinion is currently divided regarding the matter. There are some who feel that they have not done enough, and that their actions cannot be forgiven so easily, and this group counts Thai nationals themselves amongst their number as well as netizens from other countries who feel the position of an “idol” requires Block B to act with greater responsibility. At the extreme end of this scale are purported threats, including upon the members’ lives, and calls for the group to disband. Block B’s fans, with their fandom known as BBCs, support them and feel that their sincere apologies merit forgiveness; in this latest video you can see the members bow deeply to show their humility and acknowledging their “childish” actions. Included amongst those who now wish to forgive the group are Thai netizens. Although this writer cannot read Thai, some Thai commentators have left messages in English in the video’s comment section, simply asking for people to move on, even if the members should in future think before they speak.
The reason why this this story is still being reported is because there is significant dissatisfaction remaining so that Block B themselves feel the need to continually apologise and show their regret. Clearly, when a foreign group makes remarks that are insensitive and hurtful to a nation in its entirety, not all citizens of that nation will be as willing to forgive and move beyond the event as quickly as others. Some more interesting perspectives from netizens have been that Nichkhun should not have tweeted about the video and drawn attention to an incident which the members must already have berated themselves for and learnt from. Other netizens place less blame on Block B and more on their label, Brand New Stardom Entertainment, which is relatively new, and felt that the members of Block B should have been better informed about the correct conduct for an interview, and how to behave in the event of a “scandal” such as this. The most intriguing view comes, perhaps, form those who see Block B’s constant apologising as good enough to forgive the group and give them another chance, whilst contrasting this to Jenny Hyun. Hyun recently caused an uproar after tweeting racially abusive comments on her Twitter account, calling for what would essentially amount to a genocide of black people. In this case, netizens claim her attempts at apology, in contrast to Block B’s, were neither genuine nor went far enough.
Do you think this will be the last public apology regarding this matter that Block B will give? It seems to this writer that they are in a truly difficult position, and while they should not have made those comments in the first place, they are to be commended for admitting their grievous mistakes and doing all that they can to rectify the wrong that they have caused. I see no quick end to this situation- there are too many people still angry and upset for that to be the case- but I’ve no doubt that Block B will not disband and will instead have to work through this rough patch and hopefully have learnt something, and also taught a valuable lesson to trainees and rookies about the responsibilities of a Hallyu idol.
Please see Block B’s latest apology video below: