Ghanaian TV entertainer in Korea, Sam Okyere recently became a hot topic of conversation online after expressing his disappointment in a blackface parody at Uijeongbu High School‘s graduation.
But just after Sam Okyere expressed his disapproval of blackface and stressed the importance of cultural awareness, he was hit with criticism for revealing the faces of underage children and using what netizens believed to be inappropriate hashtags.
As a result of the backlash, Sam Okyere turned his Instagram account to private and released a formal apology which reads as follows:
I apologize for stirring public criticism with the photos and caption I posted on my Instagram account.
My intent was not to belittle students. I was just trying to express my opinion, but I apologize for posting a photo of the students without their permission. I respect the privacy of students. That was my mistake. And in the part that I wrote in English, I didn’t mean there’s something wrong with Korean education. I apologize for the misunderstanding. I wasn’t talking about Korean education, but I can see why there was a misunderstanding.
I also didn’t know Teakpop says bad things about K-Pop. If I had known, I wouldn’t have used that hashtag. I didn’t think it through.
I’ve received lots of love during my time in Korea, and I behaved rashly this time around.
I’d like to apologize once again.
I’ll work hard to be a more educated Sam Okyere.
— Sam Okyere
While many sympathized with Sam Okyere’s disapproval of blackface by Korean students, he was hit with unexpected criticism regarding a past facial expression made on JTBC‘s Abnormal Summit as well as the issues mentioned by Sam Okyere in his apology.
As for the high school that the Korean students in question attend, they stood by their students and stressed that it was just a parody with no ill intent.