South Korean TV sorry for using pizza to depict Italy, Chernobyl for Ukraine, Dracula for Romania
At a press conference today, the CEO of a South Korean TV channel apologised for using "inappropriate" images and captions to describe countries during the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony.
The broadcaster used images of pizza to describe Italy, an upheaval for Haiti, Chernobyl for Ukraine, salmon for Norway, Dracula for Romania when athletes from those countries entered the stadium for the opening ceremony.
CEO Park Sung-jae, of MBC, during the press conference said his channel had "damaged the Olympic values of friendship, solidarity and harmony," reports BBC.
"I bow my head and deeply apologise," Park Sung-jae said, adding that MBC would be putting "in all [their] effort to prevent another accident from happening".
South Korean broadcaster MBC used images to "represent" each country during the #Tokyo2020 Opening Ceremony.
Ukraine: Chernobyl pic.twitter.com/KpUXATuZld
— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021
In its captions broadcasting the ceremony, the network had referred to the Marshall Islands as "once a nuclear test site for the United States", and Syria as the country that has "a civil war going on for 10 years".
When Haiti's athletes walked on to the stadium, an on-screen caption described the country as one "with an unstable political situation due to the assassination of the president".
A Twitter thread by freelance journalist Raphael Rashid drew wide attention to the "unique" descriptions where even civil unrest was not off the cards.
After its use of images and explanations prompted criticism online, MBC had issued an apology soon after saying: "Inappropriate images and captions were used to introduce some stories. We apologised to those countries including Ukraine and our viewers," reported Reuters.