Chicago’s ABC affiliate apologized Monday for what might be the most embarrassing gaffe of the 2018 Winter Olympics thus far.
On Saturday morning, ABC7 WLS posted a graphic with the Olympic logo that read “P.F. Chang,” as in the casual-dining restaurant, where it should have read Pyeongchang, the South Korea city hosting the Games.
P.F. Chang’s.. Bringing the world together in 2018 pic.twitter.com/z0ksAuL7oO
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 11, 2018
Now, you are probably wondering how the hell someone whose job is to produce a television news broadcast could have made this offensive and avoidable mistake. Did someone at the station really think these were the P.F. Chang Olympics? Was it a prank? A joke that wasn’t supposed to see the air?
According to the Chicago Tribune, the P.F. Chang graphic was designed for use on a “satirical piece” in which viewers were asked to invent their own sports and was then aired accidentally in a “mix-up.”
Jayme Nicholas, a spokesperson for the ABC affiliate in Chicago, told Inc. that the goof was the result of a mix-up. 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, Nicholas said.
That explanation is… unsatisfying, to say the least. For one thing, it doesn’t explain how the “satirical” image was mistakenly plastered on live television. And for another, it’s tough to imagine what segment could conflate the name of an Asian restaurant with the name of an Asian city without being crude or offensive.
Between this incident, the NBC commentator who angered Koreans by calling Japan an “example” for their country and the New York Times editor who created a stir by calling California-born Mirai Nagasu an immigrant then refusing to back down, it has not been a good week for tasteful coverage of Asian and Asian-American people in U.S. media.