There’s still hope of seeing President Obama dance “Gangnam Style,” after all.
In what was the first major bump in his path to American pop culture dominance, PSY, the South Korean rapper-meme, saw several videos of anti-American performances he gave at protests against the Iraq war in 2002 and 2004 surface on the web. Following outrage online, where his rap song and dance has racked up nearly a billion views, the 34-year-old performer issued a statement of apology; now, the White House has confirmed that he will keep his slot at a special Christmas concert scheduled to take place at the president’s residence on Sunday and be broadcast Dec. 21.
The lyrics of one song he performed in 2004 urged the death of Americans who ordered torture for Iraqis. PSY rapped the song alongside the heavy metal band N.EX.T., which originally wrote the lyrics.
That protest came in response to a South Korean missionary being killed in Iraq, revenge for the country’s support of the American war there.
“As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world,” he said in his statement Friday. “The song I was featured in — eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I’m grateful for the freedom to express oneself, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate, and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.”