On May 1, 2020, under RAIN‘s 2017 track “Gang” music video, the official YouTube channel for the South Korean Government Organization for Statistics (Statistics Korea) KOSTAT left a “cheeky” comment.
KOSTAT teased, “We are here today to calculate the daily gang stat.” While the comment was meant to be harmless, it triggered some K-Pop fans — as the subtle details made it clear to be mocking the artist.
We are here today to calculate the daily gang statistics. On May 1, 2020, 10:00 AM KST, the “RAIN – GANG Official M/V” clip has 6,859,592 views — at 39.831 UBD.
K-Pop fans explained that the unit “UBD” used in this comment actually stands for Um Bok Dong, RAIN’s character from the K-Movie Race to Freedom: Um Bok Dong.
When this 2019 movie “flopped” with a little over 172K viewers, netizens came up with the “measurement unit” of UBD, the “unit of box office dealings” as a running joke to tease RAIN — claiming 1UBD to equal 172,212 views.
Shortly after the comment went viral, K-Pop fans criticized KOSTAT for “mocking a citizen it should be serving as an official government organization.” Fans claimed that “KOSTAT really crossed the line with the comment” and demanded that it apologizes for being “unprofessional” in the least.
By May 4, 2020, KOSTAT’s YouTube shared an apology on its community page and explained that the comment “did not intend to be negative in any way.”
This is KOSTAT YouTube channel’s administrator. I would like to share my apology. I’m sorry for leaving a careless comment under RAIN’s music video. I believed it would be a friendly approach to communicate with the Korean citizens. I’m sorry for using the UBD unit to talk about the high view count. I did not intend the comment to be negative in any way, but regardless, I apologize for being inconsiderate and inappropriate. I became too focused on trying to communicate with the citizens that I crossed the line with the comment. I promise to do a better job at understanding what the citizens want and how to communicate with them. Again, I am sincerely sorry for the controversy.
Koreans are not convinced by the apology and continue to point out how irresponsible the “administrator” has been.
- “UBD is, from the get go, a term that came from mocking his movie. It makes no sense that you didn’t mean to mock, blah, blah.”
- “Apologize to RAIN. Is the administrator out of his mind? Stop mocking citizens.”
- “Wait, what? Why does KOSTAT’s YouTube administrator need to communicate with the Korean citizens at all though…?”
- “Keep in mind the KOSTAT YouTube administrator is being paid with the citizens’ hard earned tax money. What right does he have to go around mocking celebrities? Stop paying him to be incompetent.”
- “Who is the KOSTAT YouTube administrator to communicate with Korean citizens though? That’s not the job…? You can really tell this is a half-a*sed apology. Who wrote it for him? It needs to be written again.”
- “Stop crossing the damn lines, for f*ck’s sake!”
- “This doesn’t feel sincere at all though.”
Watch the “Gang” MV here: