Newscaster Sam Rubin has issued an apology for igniting controversy by praising an American K-pop band member’s English skills.
Rubin, who works for KTLA, posted a statement on Facebook saying he was sorry for telling an NCT 127 member, Johnny, that he spoke “phenomenal” English in a segment last Wednesday.
Johnny shot back during the interview, “I’m from Chicago.”
the interviewer said johnny’s english was “phenomenal” as if he isn’t a wholeass american johnny even said “i’m from chicago” right after that pic.twitter.com/blBGKHn5xK— johnny doing things (@johnactivities) May 15, 2019
In his statement, Rubin said that ahead of the show, NCT’s management team requested to see the questions because, he says they told him, “the band does not speak good English.”
“So I did not know one of the members of the band was from Chicago and spoke perfect English,” Rubin wrote. “Based on the information provided by the Band’s own management team, I was led to believe they did not speak English very well. This was my error not to do additional research and I am sorry and apologize if any fans were offended.”
Rubin had also been criticized for asking the band members their thoughts on fellow K-pop group BTS and its success in the U.S. The question prompted some on the internet to say that the newscaster had lumped the bands together or unnecessarily compared the two groups.
the problem here is that its disrespectful to both groups. bts are bts and nct are nct and theyre completely different groups with completely different concepts and ideas. There’s literally no need to compare them as they’re both individual groups who are trying to do their thing— NCT WORLD DOMINATION (@touchnct) May 15, 2019
Rubin said in his post that BTS had appeared on KTLA before the group became the hit it is today.
“The idea of suggesting that NCT127 may enjoy similar if not greater success than BTS, is not meant to insult NCT127, rather to praise them. To congratulate them,” he said. “I do not believe they were at all hurt or insulted by the mention of BTS. I know and respect that they are a different group with their own sound and personality. But they also fall under the umbrella term of K-POP, which is widely used here in America.”
Many NCT127 fans seemed to be receptive to Rubin’s apology, even while critiquing parts of his message.
We appreciate your apology but bringing up bts to other groups saying they could be the next bts is still disrespectful if you do an interview with got7 or Monsta X ahgase and monbebe will expect better. Please don’t compare whether it’s a praise or not.— 𝕊𝕒𝕞𝕞𝕪 🐰 𝔻-79/83 (@ChngkynsHorizon) May 15, 2019
Thank you for apologising(a thread) , we appreciate it! (Also we are called NCTzens haha) I hope you do your research next and are careful about how you ask your questions. They were on the show to promote their new album coming out next week. They have worked tirelessly.— LOOK AT MY PINNED TWEET (@AbinayaKalpathi) May 15, 2019
I actually appreciate your apology, since this isn't the first time this has happened. You're the 2nd interviewer who says they were told by mngmt that they barely speak English so I think mngmt is here to blame honestly. Yet I do agree prior research should always be done. 💁🏻♀️— ✨🐯taekingyourtime⏳✨ (@taekingyourtime) May 15, 2019
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.