Olympics: South Korean network sorry for offensive and cliché country images (Norway's was salmon)

Raphael Rashid, known as @koryodynasty, #Tokyo2020, July 23, 2021, July 24, 2021, July 25, 2021

People are not very happy about the faux pas (plural).

During the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on July 23, South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) showed a series of – more or less offensive – images alongside each country.

For example, Italy’s was pizza, Ukraine’s was Chernobyl, and the UK’s was Queen Elizabeth.

Norway’s was salmon (though, arguably, if they were going the fish route – cod might have been a better choice).

The situation was reported by journalist Raphael Rashid, known as @koryodynasty, on Twitter.

South Korean broadcaster MBC used images to “represent” each country during the #Tokyo2020 Opening Ceremony.

Italy: pizza
Norway: salmon
Haiti: upheaval
Ukraine: Chernobyl pic.twitter.com/KpUXATuZld

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021

When Haitian athletes entered the stadium, an on-screen explanation said “the political situation is fogged by the assassination of the president.” When Syrian athletes entered, it said “rich underground resources; a civil war that has been going on for 10 years.”

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021

For the Marshall Islands, it said “was once a nuclear test site for the US, and is composed of more than 1,200 islands.” El Salvador was introduced with a picture representing Bitcoin. pic.twitter.com/VNvFYRAskX

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021

Sorta feel insulted that the only dirt MBC had on Great Britain was pics of the Queen, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge, with commentary saying GB needs no further introduction & Koreans are familiar with Shakespeare, The Beatles and Harry Potter 😭 https://t.co/QO4hQcSGFG pic.twitter.com/8FnfTbwNtI

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 24, 2021

MBC on Romania during the Opening Ceremony…https://t.co/P0GY7PVPzQ

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 25, 2021

Sorta feel insulted that the only dirt MBC had on Great Britain was pics of the Queen, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge, with commentary saying GB needs no further introduction & Koreans are familiar with Shakespeare, The Beatles and Harry Potter 😭 https://t.co/QO4hQcSGFG pic.twitter.com/8FnfTbwNtI

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 24, 2021

Sweden: said it was the “developed country of welfare” but made a typo in “developed country” (선진국) and wrote “선지국” which is cow blood soup, a Korean delicacy.

One more thing: MBC also indicated the GDP and vaccination rate for each country, leaving netizens baffled. pic.twitter.com/1V3XhVBU0u

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021

Not a first: For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, MBC introduced Cayman Islands as “famous as a tax haven for establishing offshore funds.” Chad was “the dead heart of Africa” and Zimbabwe had “murderous inflation.” Was cautioned by Korea Communications Standards Commission. pic.twitter.com/JlISo0UWfk

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021

Rashid also reported on MBC’s subsequent issuing of apologies.

Update: S. Korean broadcaster MBC has just issued a formal apology re: the “inappropriate” geography lesson which gave Chernobyl as a “representative” image of Ukraine during #Tokyo2020 Opening Ceremony etc. Is “deeply sorry” for the “inexcusable mistake”. “Bows down”. pic.twitter.com/m1HPQtH8ix

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 24, 2021

*Just a note that Korean media carried a typo in the apology, which was actually directed to “the relevant countries (mentioned) including Ukraine and to (Korean) viewers” and not “viewers in Ukraine”. https://t.co/PLYbNZZpiJ

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 23, 2021

MBC has now issued an apology in English. https://t.co/wFe7q0qs2G

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 25, 2021

Also, in an unprecedented move, MBC has published the English apology on the front page first screen of the MBC website. pic.twitter.com/c6tzl5th7C

— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) July 25, 2021

Source: #NorwayTodayTravel

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