The Parade of Nations are usually a time for people to test their Geography skills (or lack thereof) and to maybe learn a thing or two about each of the 205 nations participating at the Olympics.

For South Korea broadcaster MBC, they went in a direction where their production was filled with cultural stereotypes and at times relying on a nation’s most tragic moments as athletes filed into the Japan National Stadium. MBC has since apologized for their actions.

According to CNN, some bits of info felt out of place for a broadcast of the Parade of Nations while other times, like showing a picture of Dracula to represent Romania, MBC went full stereotype on a nation. The Korea Times noted that MBC also had basic factual errors throughout the broadcast.

Some examples include:

Chile: An image of the “Routes of Santiago de Composte,” which is actually in Spain.

El Salvador: A picture consisting of Bitcoin because El Salvador recently allowed the cryptocurrency to be a legal tender.

Haiti: An image of rioting and a caption that read, “The political situation is fogged by the assassination of the president.” President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on July 7.

Italy: An image of pizza.

Marshall Islands: A caption that read, “Once a nuclear test site for the US.”

Micronesia: An image of the Atlantic Ocean. Micronesia is located in the Pacific Ocean.

Norway: An image of salmon fillet.

Syria: A caption that read, “Rich underground resources; a civil war that has been going on for 10 years.”

Ukraine: An image of the Chernobyl disaster.

As for what MBC did for South Korea, they posted three graphics and it wasn’t as bad as the others.

Along with a potential worry about this hurting South Korea’s reputation throughout the world, some from the country made note that it wouldn’t have been nice if a foreign broadcaster did that toward them. Hopefully, those around the world realize that MBC doesn’t represent everyone in South Korea just like how (insert news outlet) doesn’t represent everyone in the United States.

Every country has a tired stereotype or something from their past (or present in some cases) that they’re not proud of. With the appropriate nuance, a tidbit about how El Salvador now has Bitcoin as legal tender or how Ukraine got through the Chernobyl disaster might be the dash of salt that completes a broadcast. Overly relying on Google to come up with the most basic things about each country and acting like a certain food or a tragedy is all that a country is known for doesn’t really teach anybody anything.

[CNN/The Korea Times]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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