Sunday, July 14, 2013
San Francisco plane crash: TV station apologises for broadcasting fake racially offensive pilot names
A San Francisco Bay Area TV station has apologised after reporting bogus names of the four pilots aboard Asiana Airlines flight 214, names that were crude and racially offensive.
KTVU-TV co-anchor Tori Campbell read the fake names on the air on Friday. The report was accompanied by a graphic with the made up names listed alongside a photo of the burned out plane. The prank names were: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
After a break, Campbell apologised for the error. She said a National Transportation Safety Board official confirmed the names to the station.
Paul Cheung, president of the Asian American Journalists Association, released a statement saying KTVU's reporting of the names was "not only wrong, but grossly offensive." The phoney names caricatured Asian names, said Cheung, who also is interactive and graphics editor for The Associated Press.
Jokey Asian names have been around for at least a century but all jokes are perilous these days. Nobody was personally insulted in the episode above.