Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (Cultural Broadcasting Corporation), one of South Korea’s largest TV stations, has apologised for misusing images to introduce the various countries participating in the Olympics.
Besides using pizza to introduce Italy and salmon for Norway, the broadcaster used images of the ongoing protests to describe Haiti, Chernobyl to describe Ukraine, bitcoin to describe El Salvador, and Dracula for Romania.
South Korean broadcaster MBC used images to “represent” each country during the #Tokyo2020 Opening Ceremony.
Ukraine: Chernobyl pic.twitter.com/KpUXATuZld
— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021
The images were flashed on the screen during the Parade of Nations segment on Friday night (July 23), where athletes from the various participating countries entered the Tokyo Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony.
The TV station attached captions that supposedly describe the countries as well.
According to Seoul-based freelance journalist, Raphael Rashid, the text for Haiti when its athletes entered the stadium read,”The political situation is fogged by the assassination of the president.”
As for Syria, the caption read, “Rich underground resources; a civil war that has been going on for 10 years.”
For Marshall Islands, the broadcaster said it was “once a nuclear test site for the U.S., and is composed of more than 1,200 islands”.
Rashid also pointed out that MBC made a typo in its description for Sweden, saying “cow blood soup” instead of “developed country”.
In addition, the broadcaster had also included information such as the GDP and vaccination rate for each country, which left netizens feeling perplexed.
The unfortunate episode led South Korean netizens to call MBC out on social media, prompting the hashtag “national disgrace” to trend on the country’s Twitter space.