An Oakland, Calif., TV station now faces a lawsuit from Asiana Airlines after a news anchor read fake, racially insensitive names purported to belong to pilots involved in the July 6 crash in San Francisco, NBC News reported.
“This legal action is being taken because of the KTVU report that not only disparaged Asians in general through the use of racially charged epithets, but also severely damaged the reputation of Asiana Airlines,” the company said in a statement, adding that it intends to find a U.S. law firm and sue on defamation grounds.
Three people have died as a result of the crash at San Francisco International Airport, and a great deal of media attention has focused on the pilots and what they may or may not have done wrong.
In reporting the story, Oakland’s KTVU Channel 2 broadcast four fake names that they said belonged to the pilots of the downed plane. The names, read aloud on last Friday’s noon newscast, included Asian-stereotype spellings of phrases such as “We Too Low,” NBC reported.
The station quickly apologized and said it had confirmed the names with the National Transportation Safety Board before reading them on the air.
The NTSB admits that it did confirm the false names but blames the mistake on an unpaid summer intern.
“A summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft,” the agency said in a statement.
A YouTube video from the original KTVU report can be seen here: