Broadcaster Apologizes for ‘Inappropriate’ Images Aired During Olympic Parade

The South Korean broadcaster MBC showed photographs associating pizza with Italy, Chernobyl with Ukraine and Count Dracula with Romania in its coverage of the opening ceremony.

For television broadcasters worldwide, the parade of nations during the opening of the Olympics can be an exercise in diplomacy and global awareness, with media outlets resorting to trivia nuggets, athlete profiles and geopolitical musings to fill airtime.

But one South Korean broadcaster has apologized for its choice of “inappropriate” images that appeared next to the names of several countries on Friday during its coverage of the opening ceremony.

The images drew criticism from viewers, who said they were offensive or had perpetuated stereotypes.

As the contingent of Olympic athletes from Italy entered Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for the parade of nations, the broadcaster, MBC, aired a photo of a pizza.

For Norway? A piece of salmon.

Then there was Ukraine, which the broadcaster reminded viewers was where the Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened in 1986, complete with a photo of the doomed power station.

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