After a large proportion of the Internet decided to declare British travel vlogger Louis Cole to be complicit in some sort of North Korean propaganda, it was only a matter of time before he responded to these claims. Based on a series of vlogs documenting his “beautiful and positive” experiences within the borders of North Korea, Louis was accused of being paid to paint the controversial country in an attractive light – and here’s what he had to say for himself.
Louis begins with the truth; “I’m all over the press with accusations that I’m being paid by the North Korean government as a tool for propaganda, and though that makes great headlines, there is no truth in it whatsoever”. As the short confessional video continues, Louis goes on to explain that he was simply a tourist to the country and wanted to capture the “real” North Korea, but he does go on to admit that he was “naive” to expect his viewers to already have a “broader perspective” of the country than his videos showcased.
As it turns out, Louis made his Korean vlog series purely as a means to highlight that, even though North Korea has “ideologies I do not agree with”, he does “care for and love the people there” regardless. Over seven videos, Louis aimed to “connect with local people and learn more about their culture” in order to spotlight a greater need to be educated on North Korea beyond its tragedies and controversies – “I think the future of our relationship… with North Korea is fully dependant on how well we know them”.
Aside from the mainstream media, other creators have shared their opinions on Louis’ adventure, with Phillip DeFranco uploading a video comparing the North Korea vlogs to a tour of mansion in which you’re “only being shown to the nicer rooms… even though you know there’s rooms with murder and torture going on elsewhere”. Even Hazel Hayes and Emma Blackery have questioned Louis’ videos by raising concerns over his lack of education about North Korean issues and being “detrimental” to the whole conversation.
Most people would come to expect some sort of apology from a “response” video following on from a mainstream media onslaught, but Louis does not apologise for his videos and instead insists that he’s “really looking forward to going out to visit [friends] again”. But what do you think; Should Louis have been more educational in his videos and shown both sides of North Korea, or were his videos perfectly fine examples of why the world should be more open to love and friendship? Let us know in the comments below.
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