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Asiana Airlines suing KTVU over racially charged gaffe

The station listed pilots for the airline as "Sum Ting Wong" and "Ho Lee Fuk."


Fidel Martinez


Posted on Jul 15, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 11:22 am CDT

KTVU faces legal action just days after committing a serious, racially-charged gaffe on air that seriously damaged its journalistic reputation.

Last Friday, the Bay Area Fox affiliate erroneously ran a report during its noon broadcast that incorrectly identified the names of the four Asiana Airlines flight 214 plane crash as Captain Sum Ting Wong (something wrong), Wi Tu Lo (we too low), Ho Lee Fuk (holy fuck), and Bang Ding Ow (bang ding ow).

KTVU eventually issued an apology—and then temporarily took it down—blaming the error on the National Transportation Safety Board (the NTSB confirmed that an intern had mistakenly confirmed the prank names). By that point, however, footage of the gaffe had already made its way to YouTube, where it quickly went viral.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Asiana Airlines was going to sue KTVU for damaging their reputation.

The decision by the South Korean company to pursue legal action stemmed from their desire to “strongly respond to [KTVU’s] racially discriminatory report,” spokesperson Lee Hyomin told the AP.

As of this writing, Asiana Airlines has not disclosed what damages it will seek.

Screengrab via YouTube

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*First Published: Jul 15, 2013, 7:07 pm CDT