Asiana Airlines announced on Monday that it will sue KTVU, a San Francisco TV station, for a racist prank the station accidentally aired in the aftermath of the Asiana plane crash on July 6, 2013.
The airline alleged that KTVU damaged its reputation when it used bogus. racially offensive names for four pilots on the plane, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport after hitting a seawall.
The station confirmed the names, including Captain Sum Ting Wong, with a National Transportation Safety Board summer intern before airing them on a live broadcast about the crash.
The report included a graphic with the racist fake names along with a photo of the burned plane. Video of the report went viral. While the NTSB and KTVU both apologized for the mistake, Asiana has decided to take legal action.
Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin stated that the airline decided to sue KTVU to “strongly respond to its racially discriminatory report” that targeted Asians. Asiana will likely file the lawsuit in the coming days, though it is not yet known when that will happen.
Lee added that the report seriously damaged Asiana Airlines’ reputation and that the company is also considering a lawsuit against the NTSB for the incident. Neither the NTSB nor KTVU have said where the names originated.
Meanwhile, the four pilots of Asiana Flight 214 returned to South Korea on Saturday after undergoing several questioning sessions with a US and South Korean joint investigation team. South Korean officials will also conduct separate interviews with them.
The plane’s crash landing killed three Chinese teen girls and injured almost 200 passengers. Two teens died during the first minutes of the crash, while the third died in a hospital on Friday morning, where she was in critical condition with a head injury and other problems.
Do you think Asiana should sue KTVU for the racist fake name prank it aired last week?
[Image via NTSB/Twitter]