After NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday, a report by the BBC on the star basketball player’s death’s has been criticised for using footage of another basketball player. During the News at 10 show, footage of LA Lakers star LeBron James was shown instead of Bryant, and the media outlet later apologised for the “human error”.
Matthew Champion, deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News in London, first pointed out the error and the clip shared by him quickly went viral.
I genuinely cannot believe that the actual BBC News at 10 just did this pic.twitter.com/n6csMV9OOG
— Matthew Champion (@matthewchampion) January 26, 2020
The clip received over 4 million views and took social media by storm. Online, many termed the gaffe “ignorant” and “disrespectful”, and pointed out that it was hurtful to mourning fans.
It’s a real shame that @KingJames‘ name wasn’t clearly visible on his uniform in the clip. No way that mistake could have been avoided.
— Scott Menor (@smenor) January 26, 2020
Who cut this????? BBC news using footage of Lebron James instead of Kobe Bryant in their obit!!!!!
IT EVEN SAYS JAMES ON HIS SHIRT pic.twitter.com/QaWpivLDji
— Geoff Jein (@geoffjein) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James don’t even look similar. If the BBC hired more black producers and editors, appalling mistakes like this simply would not happen.pic.twitter.com/kdX6e5XNnf
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) January 27, 2020
Gross incompetence. “Human error” is not an acceptable excuse. Fact checking should be basic stuff.
— Melissa Douglas (@GirlyNomad) January 27, 2020
A tribute to Kobe Bryant from the BBC used footage of Lebron James because fuck checking the name on the back of a jersey. All the bullshit I’ve seen today is why I am utterly ashamed of my profession. There are no standards anymore. pic.twitter.com/C0HD9HmAjH
— Richard Lewis (@RLewisReports) January 26, 2020
All black men look the same to Bbc producers because guess what – they have so few black colleagues. They live in white areas. They are just cut off. I’m glad they apologised but this is a more serious matter.
— Suheyla Topuz🌹 (@SuheylaTopuz) January 26, 2020
For anyone who asks how this can be possible…
It’s possible in a society where POC are structurally, discriminated against, made invisible, cut out of pictures, underrepresented, misrepresented, bullied and shamed in the media, the list goes on.
— Beate Beller (@BeateBeller) January 26, 2020
HOW DO YOU CONFUSE THEM
MAKE IT MAKE SENSE?! https://t.co/wuNJcfF7mh
— 🆉🅰🅼🅸🅴 🅵🅾🆇🆇 🅹🆁. (@henniezay) January 27, 2020
On-air, an anchor later apologised for the error.
“In our coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant, in one section of the report, we mistakenly showed pictures of another basketball player, LeBron James … we do apologize for the error,” said anchor Reeta Chakrabarti.
Paul Royall, editor for BBC News at 10 apologised on Twitter as well. “In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report. We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme,” he wrote.
In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report. We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme.
— Paul Royall (@paulroyall) January 26, 2020
Bryant and eight others, including his teenage daughter Gianna, died in the crash. Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, spent his entire 20 year career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, before he retired in 2016.
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