There have already been a few snafus when it comes to reporting on the 2018 Winter Olympics, and now one ABC affiliate is feeling the heat after making a really unfortunate mistake. Someone in charge of on-screen graphics at the station actually used "P.F. Chang" in place of PyeongChang in the Olympic logo they broadcast over the weekend. Take a look...
Ugh. The graphic was posted behind ABC7 Chicago weekend anchor Mark Rivera as he reported on the tense diplomatic relations between North and South Korea. According to The Inquirer, the station apologized, with a spokeswoman noting that the graphic was meant to be used during a "satirical piece" with sports anchor Mark Giangreco, but was, obviously, mistakenly used during Rivera's straight news report. Why are people pissed about this? Well, P.F. Chang's is not the South Korean city where the Winter Olympics are currently taking place, but a chain restaurant that features Asian, and specifically Chinese, cuisine with over 200 locations.
As you might imagine, even though the station apologized, this is being seen as a culturally insensitive and unforgivable move by many, with a lot of people, including others in journalism, calling for the person responsible to be fired over the gaffe. Of course, as some Twitter users noted in the comments under this particular shot of the offending graphic, whoever mocked up this version of the 2018 Olympic logo also only used four rings instead of five, but since that doesn't come off as offensive to a whole nation, either most people haven't noticed it or it simply doesn't matter to them.
This is just the latest in what appears to be a growing tendency during reports about these Olympic games for broadcasters to accidentally offend in some way. Just a few days ago, NBC analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo was fired after making comments during Friday night's opening ceremony about the Japanese occupation of Korea that angered many. That same broadcast also saw Katie Couric annoy many Dutch viewers (and Olympians in general) when she said that they frequently excelled at the winter games because of how they continue to use skating on frozen canals as a mode of transportation. While CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times have all also faced strong criticism over headlines about Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which people think play into North Korean propaganda.
Well, the 2018 Olympic games aren't even a whole week old yet, and it's pretty clear that everyone who reports on happenings there is going to have to double check all their work before going live with any stories. This is supposed to be a time of unity and fun, inspiring competition, and having so many culturally insensitive mistakes is taking some of that spirit away from the games for a lot of viewers. Luckily, though, at least these mistakes are apologized for quickly, so we can all just get back to watching sports we don't normally get a chance to enjoy.
You can watch the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics every night on NBC and its many networks through February 25. For everything else you can catch on the small screen in the coming weeks, check out our midseason premiere guide.
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