Story at a glance

  • A television broadcaster came under fire for using “inappropriate” images aimed at helping Olympics viewers identify particular countries.
  • South Korean broadcaster Munwha Broadcasting Corp. apologized and vowed to thoroughly investigate the process that allowed stereotypical photos to air.
  • “We will fundamentally reexamine the production system of sports programs to avoid any similar accidents in the future,” MBC said in a statement.

A television broadcaster that came under fire for using “inappropriate” images aimed at helping Olympics viewers identify particular countries has apologized and vowed to thoroughly investigate the process that allowed stereotypical photos to air. 

South Korean broadcaster Munwha Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) reportedly used typically inoffensive images like pizza and salmon to depict cultural features of Italy and Norway. But for Haiti, the broadcaster featured images of turmoil following the recent assassination of the Haitian president Jovenel Moïse and the nuclear disaster site Chernobyl to depict Ukraine. 

Other descriptions of various countries included vaccination rates and gross domestic product, The Washington Post reported — based on tweets from freelance journalist Raphael Rashid. 

"When Haitian athletes entered the stadium, an on-screen explanation said 'the political situation is fogged by the assassination of the president,'" Rashid tweeted. "When Syrian athletes entered, it said 'rich underground resources; a civil war that has been going on for 10 years.'"


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

OLYMPICS SUDDENLY REVERSES BAN ON SHOWING ATHLETES IN RACIAL PROTESTS

IRISH GYMNAST TESTS OLYMPICS’ ‘ANTI-SEX’ BEDS

TOKYO’S COVID-19 CASES REACH SIX-MONTH HIGH, ONE DAY FROM OLYMPICS

OLYMPICS CHAOS: DIRECTOR OF OPENING CEREMONIES SUDDENLY FIRED FOR HOLOCAUST JOKE

BLACK BEAR INTERRUPTS THE TOKYO OLYMPICS


The broadcaster wrote in an apology posted to Twitter that the images were intended to “make it easier for the viewers” to “quickly” understand the countries entering the Olympics Opening Ceremonies July 23. 

“However, we admit there was a lack of consideration for the countries concerned and investigation was not thorough enough” MBC wrote. “It was an inexcusable mistake.” 

“Furthermore, we will fundamentally reexamine the production system of sports programs to avoid any similar accidents in the future,” the broadcaster concluded. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


MBC previously faced scrutiny for its Olympic coverage in 2008, according to The Washington Post. The broadcaster reportedly faced fines by the Korean Communications Standards Commission for its descriptions of the Cayman Islands, Sudan and Chad. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA


OLYMPICS ATHLETES FIGURING OUT HOW TO COMPETE IN HOTTEST GAMES EVER

USA WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS TO SKIP STAY IN OLYMPIC VILLAGE

AMERICAN ALTERNATE GYMNAST TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AT OLYMPICS

RECORD NUMBER OF OPENLY LGBTQ+ ATHLETES HEADED TO TOKYO OLYMPICS

ATHLETES WILL PUT ON OWN MEDALS AT TOKYO OLYMPICS

Published on Jul 26, 2021