Joshua Cooper Ramo, the commentator who offended locals during coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony by straying into the sensitive issue of Japan-South Korean relations, has been taken off the air, U.S. broadcaster NBC said on Monday.
“Joshua Cooper Ramo has completed his responsibilities for NBC in Pyeongchang, and will have no further role on our air,” an NBC spokesman said in an email to Reuters.
Ramo’s speaker agency that represents him did not respond to a request for comment.
Koreans around the world criticized his remarks on social media and a petition soon circulated online.
Japan, which colonized the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, has left a deep legacy of mistrust and ill-feeling in South Korea.
— 1mountain many paths (@charku11) February 11, 2018
The Pyeongchang Organising Committee (POCOG) had earlier told Reuters that it “informed NBC of the errors in their commentary and the sensitivity of the subject in Korea”.
NBC apologized in writing to Pyeongchang’s organizing committee for the remark, which the committee said it had accepted.
The Pyeongchang organizing committee did not immediately respond to the news Ramo had been let go.
Ramo is also co-CEO of Kissinger Associates, an advisory firm of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
NBC is the exclusive U.S. broadcaster of the Olympics having paid about $7.65 billion to air the Games until at least 2032.
It is producing more than 2,400 hours of coverage over 18 days from Pyeongchang.