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International Uproar Over Remark Made During NBC Olympics Broadcast

February 12, 2018

Words matter.

Joshua Cooper Ramo, facing criticism for a comment made about Korea and Japan, is no longer working with NBC Olympics for its coverage of the Pyeongchang Games.

NBC says Ramo’s assignment has been completed following a divisive comment he made during coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday. 

“Every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation,” Ramo said after directly referencing Japan’s brutal annexation of the Korean peninsula in the lead-up to World War II. It was a comment many Koreans found offensive considering the 35-year occupation remains a painful memory.

Ramo, the co-CEO of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s consulting firm, and a former foreign editor of Time magazine, had been hired by NBC to discuss cultural and political storylines.

However, a petition—signed by 10,000 people as of Sunday morning—said Ramo’s analysis did not represent a “truthful account of history.”

“Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during WWII, would find such statement deeply hurftul and outrageous,” the petition said. “And no, no South Korean would attribute the rapid growth and transformation of its economy, technology, and political/cultural development to the Japanese imperialism.”

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