For tv broadcasters worldwide, the parade of countries through the opening of the Olympics could be an train in diplomacy and world consciousness, with media shops resorting to trivia nuggets, athlete profiles and geopolitical musings to fill airtime.
However one South Korean broadcaster has apologized for its alternative of “inappropriate” pictures that appeared subsequent to the names of a number of nations on Friday throughout its protection of the opening ceremony.
The pictures drew criticism from viewers, who mentioned they had been offensive or had perpetuated stereotypes.
Because the contingent of Olympic athletes from Italy entered Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for the parade of countries, the broadcaster, MBC, aired a photograph of a pizza.
For Norway? A chunk of salmon.
Then there was Ukraine, which the broadcaster reminded viewers was the place the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe occurred in 1986, full with a photograph of the doomed energy station.
“The pictures and captions are meant to make it simpler for the viewers to know the coming into nations shortly through the opening ceremony,” MBC mentioned in an announcement in English, printed Saturday on Twitter
Raphael Rashid, a contract journalist based mostly in Seoul, drew consideration to the pictures on Twitter.
“When Haitian athletes entered the stadium, an on-screen clarification mentioned, ‘the political scenario is fogged by the assassination of the president,’” Mr. Rashid wrote. “When Syrian athletes entered, it mentioned ‘wealthy underground assets; a civil warfare that has been occurring for 10 years.’”
For Romania, the broadcaster used a picture of Rely Dracula. And for the Marshall Islands, it famous that it had as soon as been a nuclear take a look at website for the USA.
When it was Malaysia’s flip within the parade of countries, MBC confirmed a graphic with that nation’s coronavirus vaccination fee, together with its gross home product.
In its assertion, MBC mentioned that it will examine the method of how the pictures, and the captions that accompanied them, had been chosen and vetted.
“Moreover, we are going to essentially re-examine the manufacturing system of sports activities packages to keep away from any related accidents sooner or later,” the broadcaster mentioned.
The Korea Herald reported that this was not the primary time that MBC had made a misstep through the Olympics.
In 2008, the information web site mentioned, the broadcaster was penalized by the Korea Communications Fee for disparaging nations taking part within the Beijing Olympics with its captions. The broadcaster described Sudan as an unstable nation with a protracted civil warfare and Zimbabwe as a rustic with lethal inflation.