U.S. Academic in Viral Video Chats to Korean Press

  • By Kwon Kyoung-hoon

    March 16, 2017 13:13

    Robert Kelly, the unassuming academic who became an overnight viral sensation when his children interrupted a live webcam interview with the BBC, has spoken to the local press about his newfound fame.

    Kelly, who teaches at Pusan National University in the southern city also spelled Busan, met the press Wednesday and thanked everyone for their enormous interest. He told reporters gathered at the university that he was pleased to be able to make people laugh.

    Kelly was discussing the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye on BBC World News when his two children barged into his study in their apartment in Busan. The clip has registered more than 100 million views on YouTube.

    During the interview, Kelly's daughter Marion (4) can be seen in the background marching cheerfully into the room, followed shortly by her nine-month-old brother propelling himself in a stroller. Seconds later, Kelly's wife darts into the room low to the ground, apparently in the hope that the camera cannot see her, and bundles the children out.

    His daughter "was in a hippity-hoppity mood that day because of the school party," Kelly said. He attempted to guide Marion toward some toys. "We were worried actually that the BBC would never call us again. That was our first response," he said.

    Robert Kelly, a professor at Pusan National University, poses for a picture with his wife and kids at the school on Wednesday.

    His wife, Jung-a, said, "My husband was interviewed all day by various media and the BBC was the last one." She said she was shocked that her children had wandered into their father's study as he was recording.

    Kelly told the BBC in a follow-up interview that he was "pretty uncomfortable" when many people assumed that his wife was the nanny because she is Asian.

    But his wife said she believes that the growing numbers of multi-cultural families are changing perceptions. "I hope that this incident can help everyone pay more attention to the issue," she said.

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