A Chicago TV station apologized for using “P.F. Chang” in a graphic about the Winter Olympics, instead of PyeongChang, the name of the South Korean county hosting the Games. P.F. Chang’s is the name of an “Asian restaurant concept” chain with more than 200 locations in the United States, including several in the Chicago area.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a spokesperson for that city’s ABC affiliate said the graphic “was created for a different ‘satirical piece’ put together on Friday by sports anchor Mark Giangreco in which viewers were encouraged to invent their own Olympic sports, but it was mistakenly also used for the serious news story read on Saturday by weekend anchor Mark Rivera.”
The spokesperson apologized for the mistake, images of which have gone viral. A brief video clip of the segment also circulated on the Internet, in which the graphic hovers by Rivera as he says, “Another sign that North and South Korea are working on their diplomatic relationship: Kim Jong Un invited South Korea’s president to his country. During a meeting overnight, Kim Jong Un’s sister extended the official invitation.”
While some noted the incongruity of the ludicrous imagery with the subject matter of that segment of the newscast, others wondered why the station thought the graphic was worth creating in the first place. What kind of “satirical piece” would merit such a racially insensitive joke, if that’s what it was meant to be?
The unfortunate nature of the TV station’s gaffe was reflected in news that emerged shortly before the Olympics began. At a high school basketball game in Cincinnati (via WLWT), a player was reportedly taunted with chants such as “P.F. Chang’s,” “Open your eyes” and “Go play chess.”
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