South Korean channel apologises for broadcasting ‘inappropriate images’ during Olympics opening ceremony

South Korean channel apologises for broadcasting ‘inappropriate images’ during Olympics opening ceremony

One major part of the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games is introducing the athletes from each competing country – and with more than 200 nations taking part, the procession can take a fair amount of time.

However, one South Korean broadcaster, MBC, has been forced to apologise for the way in which it announced the different nations as they entered Tokyo’s glittering stadium.

At first, it was stereotypical, with an overlaid picture of a pizza for Italy, a photo of the Queen for England, and some salmon for Norway.

But things got much worse when the channel described the Marshall Islands as “once a nuclear test site for the US” and Syria as a nation affected by “a civil war that has been going on for decades”, and commented that “the political situation [in Haiti] is fogged by the assassination of the president”.

For Ukraine, they used a picture of Chernobyl.

The images, shared by freelance journalist Raphael Rashid, have since prompted widespread consternation and shock online, with many viewers eager to guess what image accompanied their own country:

Others, meanwhile, offered more controversial suggestions:

Rashid later went on to tweet MBC’s statement in which they apologised for the images used.

“In today’s Opening Ceremony broadcast, inappropriate photos were used when introducing countries like Ukraine and Haiti. Also, inappropriate photos and subtitles were used for other countries,” it read.

“We apologise to the viewers of Ukraine and other countries”

It apparently isn’t the first time that MBC has come under fire for their descriptions during the Olympics.

In 2008, the broadcaster was forced to apologise for calling the Cayman Islands “famous for establishing offshore funds”, describing Chad as the “dead heart of Africa” and saying Zimbabwe had a “murderous inflation”.

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