Imitation of North Korean news anchor lands CTS, production staff in hot water

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Wed, Dec 21, 2011 - Page 3

The Chinese Television System (CTS) apologized to the public yesterday for allowing one of its anchors to mimic the North Korean anchorwoman Re Chun-hee when delivering reports on Taiwan’s presidential campaign.

“We have replaced the anchor, Liang Fang-yu (梁芳瑜), and transferred the evening news producer to another position,” the station said in a written statement. “The manager of the news department has resigned as well.”

“Other department supervisors will face investigation and could be punished if they are found responsible for this incident. The management change shows our determination to pursue professionalism and take full responsibility [for the incident],” it said.

The anchor on yesterday’s evening news also apologized for the incident and said the station would also brief the National Communications Commission about the incident.

Liang wore a traditional Korean garment and delivered the news by speaking Mandarin with a mix of Korean words and imitating Re’s unique presentation style while delivering the news report.

While Liang’s impersonation was not the first time such an impersonation has been done on a TV program, the incident came after the announcement of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had been released and North Korean were mourning the loss of their leader.

The incident was even more controversial because it occurred at CTS, a channels of the Taiwan Broadcasting System (TBS), the nation’s one and only public media.

Commission spokesperson Chen Jen-chang (陳正倉) yesterday said Liang had committed a “terrible act,” and the commission has asked officials from its communication content department to look into the incident.

“No matter what kind of system a nation has, we should sympathize with their people for their loss,” Chen said. “Using such a disrespectful and inappropriate attitude is really terrible, to be honest. What would you do if other nations used such an attitude to report the loss of our presidents?”

Chen said they would ask the station if it has regulated the quality of its news programs.

Earlier this year, Chen spoke critically of the popular show, The Largest Political Party (全民最大黨), which in one episode imitated Japanese Emperor Akihito when the emperor visited the victims following the earthquake and tsunami in March.