February 12, 2018: NBC Apologizes for Olympic Opening Ceremony Remark on South Korea-Japan History, Google Introduces New Rules to Fight Deceptive Event Ticket Sales, Honoree Calls Out Film Academy at Its Own Sci-Tech Awards

By Ian Zelaya February 12, 2018, 8:16 AM EST

1. NBC APOLOGIZES FOR OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY REMARK ON SOUTH KOREA-JAPAN HISTORY: NBC has apologized after an analyst sparked outrage over a comment during Friday's opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics that whitewashed South Korea's history with Japan. The New York Times: “The analyst, Joshua Cooper Ramo, made the comment while appearing with Katie Couric and Mike Tirico during the opening ceremony on Friday. Noting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was in attendance, Mr. Ramo described Japan as 'a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945, but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation.' The remark immediately ignited outrage in South Korea, the Olympic host nation, where resentment of Japan’s harsh early 20th-century annexation of the Korean Peninsula continues to simmer. Just last month, Mr. Abe’s attendance at the Games was in question after tensions escalated over Japan’s refusal to reissue an apology for the Japanese military’s role in forcing Korean and other women to work in military brothels during World War II. Soon after Mr. Ramo’s remark, an online petition began to circulate demanding an apology from NBC. By Sunday, more than 8,000 people had signed it. In a statement read on-air by the NBC anchor Carolyn Manno on Saturday, NBC said: 'We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize.'"

2. GOOGLE INTRODUCES NEW RULES TO FIGHT DECEPTIVE EVENT TICKET SALES: In an effort to crack down on ticket scalpers, Google has introduced new rules to combat deceptive ticket sales for events in its search results. Billboard: “The new rules ban a number of deceptive practices and require greater transparency from independent broker sites and large marketplaces like StubHub and Viagogo. On Wednesday (Feb. 7), the search giant implemented a new set of rules announced last year governing how ticket resellers and professional scalpers advertise on Google's AdWords platform. Ticket brokers now must complete a certification program and agree to a number of transparency requirements about how tickets are procured, priced and marketed to boost their search engine results through paid advertising and keyword buying on AdWords. Under the new guidelines, resellers cannot imply or lead customers to think their site is the primary point of sale for tickets. One common complaint to consumer groups and the Federal Trade Commission is that scalpers purchase deceptive URLs like or, and then bid on keywords to boost their position on Google's search result page. When a consumer would search for tickets on sites like Google, they'd have to navigate through listings from brokers that looked legitimate in order to find the primary ticketing site. ... Other rules for certification are that resell sites must also provide the total cost for tickets, including fees and taxes, before requiring payment information, and beginning in March, must disclose the value of the tickets being sold. In order to be certified by Google, resellers must submit an application to show compliance with the rules—it typically takes a week to get certified, a source at Google tells Billboard."

3. HONOREE CALLS OUT FILM ACADEMY AT ITS OWN SCI-TECH AWARDS: Technologist Jonathan Erland criticized the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for focusing too much on awards as he accepted his Gordon E. Sawyer Award Oscar statuette at the Science and Technical Awards. The Oscar board's annual event, which honors those who have made scientific and technical achievements in films, took place Saturday at the Beverly Wilshire. The Hollywood Reporter: “The Academy, Erland said, has become 'increasingly award-centric, and members largely relegated to an award voting panel.' He went on to say, 'The community is comprised of much of the best practitioners in the field of cinema. To waste the awesome potential of these resources is unconscionable. If we are to fulfill the dream that [Douglas] Fairbanks, [Mary] Pickford and the other founders had for our art form, we must collectively reassume more responsibility for our institution.' Erland, a founding member of the Science and Technology Council who has been previously honored with two SciTech Awards, argued that 'our Academy was created to make art possible, to make the excellence of the art and science of cinema possible,' but added that 'in the middle of the last century we became complicit in the blacklist, damaging people's lives and tarnishing our reputation. I hope today we can stay focused on fostering the pursuit of excellence of cinema and let cinema itself be the agent of change in our society.' ... As he concluded his remarks, Erland received a standing ovation and a hug from Academy president John Bailey. Host Patrick Stewart closed the show quoting Puck's epilogue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During the ceremony, the Academy also recognized 10 scientific and technical achievements."


CHICAGO:  Baconfest Chicago will take place April 6-7 at the UIC Forum. The event will offer bacon dishes from restaurants including Bakin’ & Eggs, Carnivale, Kinfork BBQ and Tap, Michael Jordan’s Restaurant, Roanoke, and XO Marshmallow. 

LOS ANGELES:  The 35th annual PaleyFest LA will take place March 16-25 at the Dolby Theatre. The initial talent lineup for the TV fan festival includes Barbra Streisand, Seth MacFarlane, Debra Messing, Anna Farris, Allison Janney, and Ava DuVernay. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami New Times and Zoo Miami’s ninth annual Brew at the Zoo beer festival will take place May 12. 

NEW YORK:  The 142nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show runs today through Tuesday at Piers 92 and 94 and Madison Square Garden. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  Armin van Burren, Kaskade, and Galantis will headline the Bud Light Dreams music festival, which will take place June 23-24 at RBC Echo Beach. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Driftwood Acquisitions and Development, a privately held investment firm, has acquired Westin Tysons Corner. The hotel, which will continue to be managed by Driftwood Hospitality Management, will undergo renovations to its guest rooms and common areas. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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