Airline to sue TV station over racist pilot names
South Korea’s Asiana Airlines said Monday that it would file a lawsuit against a San Francisco-based television station after a news report incorrectly identified several pilots with racially offensive fake names.
KTVU-TV immediately corrected the mistaken names after an anchor read them on air last Friday afternoon as producers flashed a graphic of racist, fake names for Asians next to an image of the aircraft that crashed in San Francisco on July 6.
The names were: “Captain Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.” The station claimed it verified those crew members’s names with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which also apologized and blamed the errant confirmation on a summer intern.
A spokesperson for the airline told The Associated Press on Monday that the company would sue to “strongly respond” to what it views as “a racially discriminatory report” aired by an American news outlet. The NTSB will not be targeted by the lawsuit.
Three people were killed as a result of injuries sustained in last Sunday’s crash. Another 182 were injured, and a total of 307 people were on the flight from Shanghai to San Francisco. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the crash.
This video is from WPIX-TV, aired Sunday, July 14, 2013.
This video of KTVU’s original report aired July 12, 2013.