Block B Angers Fans and Thailand

Block B recently made their comeback with the release of their second album Welcome To The Block. Their single release ‘NarinA‘ topped the charts of many, with fans going crazy for their Gorilla dance. But now Block B are hitting the headlines for a very controversial reason.

The boys of Block B are known for being mischievous and fun loving, but during a recent interview with a Thailand TV show, Block B took their care free attitude a little too far. The people of Thailand and Korea are up in arms about the thoughtless comments and behaviour of the boys, and thus a whole lot of Kpop drama has begun.

From sprawling around on a table to disrespecting their sunbae’s (previous and present idols), there seemed to be no stopping bad manners. The interviewer asked, “What separates you from other Korean hip-hop artists?” Leader Zico replied, “If you look at hip-hop artists, they’re very ugly. But we feel confident in our technical abilities.” Other members began laughing whilst P.O slid back on the couch, lifting his legs up into the air clapping his hands and feet together. U-Kwon continued to laugh then suddenly stood up and started dancing around whilst making a loud monkey imitation as he swung his arms around.

The interviewer bought up the subject surrounding the recent deadly floods in Thailand, asking what their views and feelings were. This was the turning point of the whole interview. Originally although slightly rude, the boys would have gotten away with their behaviour, but the reply from Zico and the other band members to this question was what started off the whole controversy. Zico‘s replied with, “I know that many people have it hard due to the flood. With this monetary aid, we hope that you will feel better. The only thing we have is money.” If left at this point, I’m sure it would have blown over, as he makes a valid point, but  another member shouted out, asking how much money Zico had, to which he replied, “About 7000 won?” ( roughly £4 GBP), which caused the members to laugh out loud. 

The interview gained enough views through the internet that Kpop boy group 2PM even had things to say. Thai member Nichkhun tweeted, “As a Thai, I’m offended by those who talk about the flooding in Thailand without thinking. If you come to Thailand, rather than acting without thinking, please respect this country and only behave with a proper attitude.” This was followed swiftly with tweets from band mate Junho, stating, “I won’t say who, but those behaviors and attitudes make me ashamed as a fellow Korean. I wish they would learn that one bad action doesn’t just affect them, but also creates a dirty mess for those around them. I say this as a person and a sunbae.” Chansung followed, by saying, “Even if carelessness can seem inevitable even if you’re trying your best to avoid it, if you’re absent-minded and hurt others then act like you’re the best, that’s being careless. This is more than a mistake and proves that you’re that kind of person… Shame on you.

As soon as the controversy arose, the boys of Block B headed to their Daum Cafe to write their official solo apologies. Starting with P.O, he wrote, “I apologize for our hurtful attitudes and our manners to all Thai fans and [South Korean] citizens who have given us so much love. I’m very sorry that I acted in a childish, unreasonable manner throughout the entire interview. It was an act that ignored the boundary between freedom and the line of decency. Again, I apologize to Thai citizens and fans. We will deeply reflect upon our mistakes that led to a damaged national image and and the image of its artists. I feel that we’ve shown so much unreasonable attitudes and actions so we bow deeply in apology. In the future, as a public servant, we will work hard to show a more mature image. Learning from this event, we will act more conscientiously and responsibly as a South Korean artist.

U-Kwon: “We feel incredibly ashamed that we disappointed with our inconsiderate Thailand interview. We apologize to all of the Thai citizens who suffered massive damages due to the flood. Also, we apologize to the citizens of South Korea for failing to uphold the national image thanks to our dishonourable actions. Watching the interview clip, we are feeling the mistakes that we have made and reflecting deeply. We apologize once again and Block B will work hard to prevent repeating these inconsiderate and disrespectful actions.

B-Bomb: “I apologize from the bottom of my heart. Apart from being public servants, I apologize for not stopping the actions of my fellow members as the older brother and creating a controversy out of our actions which were against basic manners. Although we should have shown much more respect and manners as a Korean, we apologize again for disappointing our fans and Thai citizens with our inconsiderate actions. We will reflect and reflect some more upon our actions. We apologize. We will work hard to become a Block B which will not make these mistakes again.

Taeil: “First, I would like to say sorry. There were many people saying, even before this interview, whether or not Block B was too free-willed, and we believe it is our fault that we did not listen to the criticism, however minute, and acting as though it was our strong point, despite being public servants in the eye of the whole nation. All of the members were immature. I was honestly surprised when our fans sent us the interview clip through SNS [social networking services]. We are the people in the video…we were the disrespectful ones in that interview, I thought, and was filled with shame. I really could sympathize with those saying that we put South Korea to shame. I once again apologize for both my refusal to control the actions of my younger brothers, and not paying attention to the interview. I will work harder. I will work harder and repay everyone with better music. To our fans, Thai flood survivors, and everyone, we apologize again. We will become a more mature Block B, and a more respectful Taeil. Sorry.

Hello, this is Block B’s Park Kyung. I don’t have anything to say other than sorry. We know that whatever we say, it will only be excuses. All of our actions, from the beginning to the end of the interview, from our members’ immature actions and the joking, and our statements disregarding the severity of the incident, were out of line and we are ashamed and reflecting upon our mistakes. We bow our heads again in apology.

Jaehyo “We deeply apologize to the citizens of Thailand. Also, we are very sorry to South Korea for degrading the nation’s image and shaming them. We apologize for making people uncomfortable with our lack of respect and playful attitude. Although I should’ve been the example to the younger members, I apologize for not being able to fulfill that role. I could have set the interview on the right track, but I was irresponsible and participated in the proceedings and I apologize for embarrassing everyone watching the video. I am reflecting upon my shameful actions and lack of basic manners during an interview and looking back upon myself. There are no excuses, nor explanations necessary. I am thinking deeply about this huge mistake and will act with more thought in the future. I apologise.

One of the most drastic in apologising was Leader Zico with his written apology: “I deeply apologize for my unreasonable attitude and creating a controversy due to my childish actions and not taking into account the huge pain and suffering of the Thai people due to the flood damage. Although I’ve already become an adult, I feel so ashamed of my mistaken comment that did not consider the feelings of the many casualties of the flood and the national psyche. I believe that no matter what excuse we give, our actions during the interview – sitting cross-legged on the sofa, chatting with members, damaging South Korea’s image abroad, and being unable to differentiate the line between what is right and what is wrong – were unforgivable. I bow once again to apologize for our actions. We are sorry that, thanks to our inconsiderate interview, we gave an injury to a not yet healed scar. I am incredibly ashamed. Sorry and sorry again.

But for Zico, this was not enough and he decided to take further action to show his remorse and reflect on his wrongdoings. Reports emerged stating Zico was taking full responsibility of the situation and had shaved his head as a symbol of his remorse. He also withdrew from his scheduled appearances on MBC FM4U‘s Yoonha’s Starry Night.

Block B‘s entertainment company ‘A Brand New Stardom’ was reported to quote: “The group is making this incident as an opportunity to become more mature.” This goes to show the power of netizens in the Kpop world are the rulers. But do you think the situation was blown out of proportion? Do you think the band could have handled it differently? What are your views? Please leave us a comment and tell us what you think. Check out the whole interview below.

 Sources: Allkpop, NateRYT9

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