Local broadcaster MBC is facing fresh criticism over its use of an inappropriate caption, which seemed to mock a player on Romanian men's football team, during its coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, Sunday.
This incident followed other offensive remarks made while broadcasting the opening ceremony of the Games, through disrespectful and discriminatory descriptions of some countries.
In its caption, shown on the top right of the screen during a TV commercial after the first half, the South Korean TV network said, "Thank you Marin," referring to an own goal by Marius Marin of the Romanian team in the first half.
In that match, South Korea beat Romania 4-0, jumping to the top of Group B.
Football fans in and outside the country expressed their displeasure at the caption, saying it displayed poor sportsmanship.
A Twitter user (@RoFtbl), who shares news related to Romanian football, wrote in a tweet: "South Korean public broadcasting station MBC mocked Marius Marin's moment of shame with a message 'Thank you Marin, own goal.'"
MBC had already put itself in the hot seat over its offensive use of images and captions to describe countries during its coverage of the Olympic opening ceremony, Friday.
For example, an image of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, at which a tragic nuclear accident occurred in 1986, was shown when Ukrainian athletes marched. The broadcaster also used an image of people rioting to represent Haiti.
Amid the mounting controversy, MBC issued a public apology, saying, "We are aware of the seriousness of the incident. We will thoroughly investigate how such images and captions were used and take follow-up measures."
But the furious online backlash against the broadcaster continues and various media outlets based abroad have also reported on the incident.
Following the second affront regarding the football match, MBC CEO Park Sung-je himself also made an apology, Monday.
Park said the broadcaster sent letters of apology to the embassies of Ukraine and Romania.
The conservative main opposition People Power Party said Sunday that it was planning to ask the Korea Communications Standards Commission to impose severe disciplinary action against the broadcaster for its use of inappropriate images and captions.
But it remains to be seen when the commission will be able to take up the issue, as the selection of the members of the commission has yet to have been finalized since the tenure of the previous members expired in January, amid a conflict between Cheong Wa Dae and the main opposition party over the appointments.
source: The Korea Times