South Korean TV network MBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday went awry when it used what it has now admitted were “inappropriate” photos and captions to refer to countries competing in the games.
The broadcaster drew the most ire on Twitter after it showed a photograph of Chernobyl — the site of the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster ― as Ukraine’s athletes entered the National Stadium, reported Agence France-Presse.
— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021
MBC also used pictures of pizza when Italy’s representatives arrived, salmon for Norway, sushi for Japan, a scene of unrest for Haiti and a depiction of the fictional Dracula for Romania, according to Reuters.
They ran a picture of…Dracula alongside Team Romania last night. *facepalm* pic.twitter.com/7GYtZoo7iG
— Hyunsu Yim (@hyunsuinseoul) July 24, 2021
Critics called out the network for propagating national stereotypes with its choice of images.
The Chernobyl image prompted the most anger.
MBC used a photo of Chernobyl to introduce Ukriane. What the.. pic.twitter.com/uN2TTbrQVJ
— Korea Football News (@KORFootballNews) July 23, 2021
Today is the day that Korean news network MBC used Genghis Khan and Chernobyl to introduce countries in the Olympics. Jeeeeeeeez 🤣🤦♀️ do better guys! pic.twitter.com/vxqUU4Tknl
— Ceri 🏴🇪🇺🇰🇷 (@cerikim_) July 24, 2021
MBC used a photo of Chernobyl to introduce Ukraine. MBC regularly demonstrated their cultural illiteracy, and it's so embarrassing! pic.twitter.com/g6vIIYvX2P
— Jay Lim 🇰🇷 임병준 (@aQuoteAday) July 24, 2021
Take a chill pill, MBC! Holy hell. Chernobyl?! https://t.co/LucbpYPEAQ
— John Lee (@koreanforeigner) July 23, 2021
“In today’s Opening Ceremony broadcast, inappropriate photos were used when introducing countries like Ukraine and Haiti,” MBC said in a statement, per the New Zealand Herald. “Also, inappropriate photos and subtitles were used for other countries. We apologize to the viewers of Ukraine and other countries.”
해당 국가 국민과 시청자 여러분께 정중히 사과드립니다. pic.twitter.com/B9hmNi3LJb
— withMBC (@withMBC) July 24, 2021 RELATED… ‘Badass’ U.S. Women’s Water Polo Shatters Records In Olympic Rout Of Japan The Funniest Tweets From The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony Japanese Video Game Music Gets Big Moment At Olympic Opening Ceremony Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost