ABC Suspends Matt Gulman For Reporting All Of Kobe Bryant’s Children Died In Helicopter Crash
Amid the reports Sunday of Kobe Bryant‘s fatal helicopter crash came an erroneous report. At first, the number of passengers on the flight was unknown and authorities had yet to publicly identify the victims.
Although it is now known that the flight to the Mamba Skill Academy was taken by Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six other people associated with the basketball team, and the pilot, on Sunday, a report came out that even more members of Bryant’s family were involved in the accident.
A reporter for ABC News, Matt Gutman, reported that all four of Bryant’s daughters were aboard the helicopter. Gutman apologized on-air and on Twitter once it was confirmed that only Gianna was with the basketball star when the crash occurred.
“Earlier I reported that four of Kobe Bryant’s children were on that flight, that is incorrect.” he said on ABC News.
Variety reported that on Wednesday, ABC announced they were suspending Gutman, who is their chief national correspondent. The network released a statement to saying that falsely reporting all four Bryant sisters were on the flight “was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards.”
Gutman further apologized in a statement to E! News on Wednesday. He took the blame for the egregious reporting and holds himself “accountable for a terrible mistake.” The reporter added how remorseful he was to the Bryant family.
Today I inaccurately reported it was believed that four of Kobe Bryant’s children were on board that flight. That is incorrect. I apologize to Kobe’s family, friends and our viewers. pic.twitter.com/yYwuB9vpZl
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) January 27, 2020
The ABC suspension comes after Gutman faced backlash online. His apology on Twitter garnered some severe responses.
“Should be fired quicker than it took you to release an apology,” one person replied.
“I honestly hope you never find a ‘reporting’ job ever again,” another user wrote.
However, there were others who appreciated the gesture made by owning up to the error.
“You are a class act,” one person commented.
“Props to you for that correction and apology,” replied another.
Gutman started his career with ABC News back in 2006 with ABC News Radio. For now, the network has not revealed how long his suspension will last.
He is not the only newsperson who came under fire for their reporting on Sunday. As covered by The Inquisitr, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva called out TMZ for releasing information about the helicopter crash before authorities had the chance to contact next of kin. He called the move “extremely disrespectful.”
Harvey Levin, the founder of TMZ, defended the publication’s reporting and insisted they were given permission by “Bryant’s people” to go public with the information.