The video of South Korea expert Prof Robert Kelly being awkwardly interrupted by his children during a BBC interview has been shared worldwide, attracting millions of views from people humoured by his futile attempt to remain in control while his office was under siege from his kids.
But while most found the sight of him trying to keep his composure while his two children barged into his office on live TV, some had less than kind words for the professor. Shortly after the video went viral, some criticised the way Kelly handled the situation, along with over-analysing the panicked behaviour of his wife, Jung-a Kim (who many also wrongly referred to as the kids’ nanny).
Kelly held a press conference at Pusan National University, the flagship South Korean university where he works, in order to address these criticisms. Speaking to the assembled press, a visibly frustrated Kelly said: “Our children were not hurt.”
Kelly continued: “When Miriam, our daughter, speaks in the clip she says in Korean: ‘Why mom?’ because she is responding in surprise because we normally do not treat our children the way you saw in the clip.
“In that same vein, no, I was not shoving Miriam out of the way when I tried to move her behind the chair. I was trying to slide Miriam behind the chair because we have toys and books in the room. My hope was that she would play with the books for a few moments until the interview ended.”
He added: “Yes, I was wearing pants! Someone at lunch recognised me today … and asked if I was wearing pants. Strangers ask me if I was wearing pants! I chose not to stand — this is why people thought I wasn’t wearing pants, because I chose not to stand — because I was trying to save the interview.”
Responding to allegations that the video had been faked by Kelly and Jung-a Kim he continued: “No, this was not staged … no, my wife and I did not fight after the blooper. We did not punish our children. In fact, actually, we thought that no television network would ever call us again.”
He concluded: “Finally, we have no serious comment about the many social analyses about the video. We see this simply as a very public family blooper, we do not see this as some political or social way or as a metaphor for anything. We have no comment on that sort of stuff.”