KTVU-TV has confirmed that the station fired three veteran producers over the four fake names for the on-air gaffe involving the fake names of those Asiana Airline pilots that became a viral YouTube clip and a major embarrassment to the station. Investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu and producer Brad Belstock were all dismissed after an in-house investigation into the matter.
To backtrack, during its noon newscast on July 12, anchor Tori Campbell announced that “KTVU has just learned the names of the four pilots who were on board” the ill-fated plane – then proceeded to read from a teleprompter while the phony names were displayed on a graphic.
The names she gave were Capt. Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow.
Only after the station returned from a break did Campbell – who had clearly been unaware of the mistake – read an on-air correction, telling viewers that the station had confirmed the names with the National Transportation Safety Board.
By day’s end, the NTSB issued its own apology for “inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed” to KTVU. Soon after, the NTSB announced that it had fired a summer intern over the incident.
Colleagues said they were saddened, but not completely surprised by the dismissals given the international attention the gaffe got, including a threat – later dropped – by Asiana to sue to the station.
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KTVU producers fired over the four Asiana Air fake/racist names that it aired