Taiwan TV station apologizes to South Korea for “covidizing” national flag

Taiwan news channel TVBS issued an apology to the people of Korea today, April 19, after using an image that combined the national flag of the Republic of Korea with a CGI depiction of the COVID-19 virus during a TV news report last month.

On March 16, TVBS “FOCUS Global News Program” used the image as a background during a news report about South Korea recording 600,000 COVID cases in a single day. A screenshot of the image eventually spread to South Korean social media users, causing anger and criticism from some quarters. The issue was broadcast by Korean mass media outlets including SBS, Chosun Ilbo, and JTBC.

TVBS posted an apology in Chinese and Korean on the TVBS website today, saying that its use of the image was inappropriate. “This station sincerely apologizes to the people of the Republic of Korea for the immaturity of program production. This station has immediately deleted the problematic video and will conduct an internal review and make improvements,” the statement read.

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