Olympian oops! Chicago station mistakes PyeongChang for P.F. Chang's

Chicago TV station confuses PyeongChang with P.F. Chang’s. (Handout)

The Winter Olympics are now officially underway in PyeongChang, South Korea — not, as a Chicago newscast mistakenly stated, in a P.F. Chang’s restaurant.

This past Saturday morning, WLS-Ch. 7’s news aired an Olympics segment (led by anchor Mark Rivera) that featured an onscreen graphic with “P.F. Chang 2018” written above the trademark rings. Of course, P.F. Chang’s is a Chinese restaurant chain with hundreds of locations around the country and has absolutely nothing to do with PyeongChang, save for the fact that both start with the letter “P” and end with “Chang” and have to do with Asia.

Suffice it to say, such an insensitive gaffe led to an embarrassed apology from Jayme Nicholas, a spokeswoman for the Chicago ABC affiliate, who told the Chicago Tribune that the error was the result of a graphical mixup — specifically, the image used in the broadcast was actually intended for a forthcoming satirical story involving viewers making up phony Olympic sports. That explanation still doesn’t quite explain why the station would want to equate South Koreans with the Chinese — even in a “humorous” capacity — but at least the mistake wasn’t verbally repeated by Rivera or reused in any later broadcasts.

P.F. Chang’s, meanwhile, kept its response cheeky.

The Winter Olympics — in PyeongChang — continue through Feb. 25.

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