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Monday, September 27, 2021

‘War for Syria, Chernobyl for Ukraine’: South Korean TV apologises for offensive images at Tokyo 2020

The stereotypical portrayal of each country at the Tokyo Olympics has drawn flak online, forcing the media company to apologise.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 26, 2021 10:45:53 am
tokyo olympics, tokyo olympics 2021, tokyo olympics 2020, tokyo olympics 2021 live, tokyo olympics india 2021, tokyo olympics 2020 india, South Korean broadcaster MBC, indian express newsTokyo 2020: However, this is not the first time MBC has used such images to portray countries.

A South Korean broadcaster has issued an apology after they used offensive images and captions to describe several countries at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.

The media company, MBC, used images such as the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster to represent Ukraine, a Dracula for Romania, pizza for Italy, a riot for Haiti, a bitcoin poster for El Salvador and salmon for Norway at the parade of nations.

Rather than concentrating on their achievements, the broadcast company focussed on the worst events. For Syria, they used images of the civil war, which has been going on for the past 10 years, instead of showcasing its diverse culture and historic sites.

“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.’,” tweeted Seoul-based freelance journalist Raphael Rashid while sharing images from the event.

The stereotypical portrayal of each country at the Tokyo Olympics has drawn flak online, forcing the media company to apologise for the same. “In today’s Opening Ceremony broadcast, inappropriate photos were used when introducing countries like Ukraine and Haiti. Also, inappropriate photos and subtitles were used for other countries. We apologise to the viewers of Ukraine and other countries,” a statement from MBC said.

However, this is not the first time MBC has used such images to portray countries. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, MBC introduced the Cayman Islands as “famous as a tax haven for establishing offshore funds.” Chad was “the dead heart of Africa” and Zimbabwe had “murderous inflation,” according to Rashid’s tweet.

Here is how netizens reacted:

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