Don in gaffe glad BBC clip made all laugh

Dr Kelly and his family - wife Kim Jung-A, daughter Marion and son James - became an Internet sensation following the "family blooper" during his interview with BBC via Skype last week (above).
Dr Kelly and his family - wife Kim Jung-A, daughter Marion and son James - became an Internet sensation following the "family blooper" during his interview with BBC via Skype last week.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BBC TV
Dr Kelly and his family - wife Kim Jung-A, daughter Marion and son James - became an Internet sensation following the "family blooper" during his interview with BBC via Skype last week (above).
Dr Kelly and his family - wife Kim Jung-A, daughter Marion and son James - became an Internet sensation following the "family blooper" during his interview with BBC via Skype last week (above).PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BBC TV

BUSAN (South Korea) • The man at the centre of a viral BBC interview who was unceremoniously interrupted by his children live on air said yesterday he was flattered by the many "gentle sentiments" his family had received after millions watched the video online.

Dr Robert Kelly, an American associate professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, had been speaking to the BBC via Skype about the impeachment of president Park Geun Hye, when his daughter marched into his home office.

His nine-month-old son, James, slipped in shortly afterwards in a baby walker, followed by his wife, Ms Kim Jung-A, who dramatically chased and expertly extracted both children as Dr Kelly tried to maintain his on-camera composure.

"We are just a regular family and raising two young children can be a lot of work," Dr Kelly said during a news conference at the university. "We love our children very much, and we are happy that our family blooper - our family error on television - brought so much laughter to so many people."

Dr Kelly's four-year-old daughter, Marion, who captured the Internet community's attention with her bright yellow top and confident swagger, sat beside Dr Kelly during the news conference. Ms Kim held baby James on her lap.

In a follow-up interview with the BBC yesterday, Dr Kelly said he could see a mirror image of the room on his video screen as Marion walked through the door behind him.

UNFAZED BY DISCRIMINATORY COMMENTS

There are a lot of multicultural families in the world and I hope that this could be an opportunity to change people's perception.

MS KIM JUNG-A, on assumptions that she was a nanny

"I was hoping that maybe my daughter might sit down and read a book or something... but once my son came in on the little roller... then there was nothing I could do."

The video was widely shared on social media, with the majority of comments expressing amusement over the incident. One version of the video on a BBC Facebook page had over 86 million views as of yesterday.

Dr Kelly, who is an expert on North and South Korea, and makes regular international media appearances, said he hoped the light-heartedness of the video would not harm him professionally. "I'm BBC Dad for a while, so I hope that people will still read my work," he said. "If we're still talking about this in six months, then I'll be quite uncomfortable."

The video triggered accusations of discrimination in South Korea and elsewhere after some online posters overseas immediately assumed that Ms Kim was a nanny.

She shrugged off the discriminatory comments, urging viewers to take the video more light-heartedly and expressed hopes that it could bring about change.

"There are a lot of multicultural families in the world and I hope that this could be an opportunity to change people's perception," said Ms Kim.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WATCH THE VIDEO
Epic video of "BBC dad" that went viral. http://str.sg/4hXo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2017, with the headline 'Don in gaffe glad BBC clip made all laugh'. Print Edition | Subscribe