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MBC given slap on the wrist for discriminatory Olympic broadcasts

Local broadcaster MBC was given non-binding administrative guidance from the Korean Communications Standards Commission, Thursday, for using offensive or stereotyped images to depict some countries during the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Now, the commission is drawing a backlash for handing out such a mild punishment for the discriminatory and inappropriate description of other countries that drew criticism both within Korea and from abroad.

During a meeting, the commission decided only to "advise" MBC not to repeat such an offense by issuing administrative guidance, which does not affect the commission's future evaluation of the broadcaster. The decision contradicted initial expectations that MBC might receive a "warning," which would affect the commission's future evaluation of the broadcaster.

The three commissioners appointed by the liberal ruling Democratic Party voted to issue the administrative guidance, saying that despite the offenses, the broadcaster's follow-up disciplinary measures should be taken into consideration. A fourth commissioner appointed by the conservative main opposition People Power Party voted for a warning, and after the vote, that commissioner left the meeting room in protest.

In 2008, MBC also aired comments that were demeaning to specific countries, as well as presented false facts during the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing. At that time, the commission gave the broadcaster a warning.

During this year's Olympics, MBC used discriminatory and insensitive images and captions when introducing some participating countries. For Ukraine, it used an image of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, where a nuclear accident occurred in 1986, and for Haiti, it used an image of people rioting, which referred to the recent turmoil during which its president was assassinated.

In response to the criticism, MBC President Park Sung-jae issued a formal apology, reshuffled the heads of the news department and sports division and curtailed the chief producer's salary for six months, July 26.





source: The Korea Times
Tags: mbc, olympics
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