Asiana Airlines—the company responsible for the Boeing 777 that crashed into San Francisco airport earlier this month—announced on Monday that it will sue KTVU-TV for using made-up, racially-offensive names for the four pilots of the jet. Really.
On Friday, an anchor for Oakland TV station KTVU read four fake names for the pilots of Flight 214, after a National Transportation Safety Board summer intern " erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft."
The names? Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow.
Both KTVU-TV and the National Transportation Safety Board have apologized, but Asiana Airlines is having none of it.
The Korean airline has already selected a U.S. law firm and will soon file a petition with the courts on the grounds of defamation, in order to "strongly respond to its racially discriminatory report" that disparaged Asians, according to an Asiana spokeswoman.
"This legal action is being taken because of the KTVU report that not only disparaged Asians in general through the use of racially charged epithets, but also severely damaged the reputation of Asiana Airlines," the company said in a statement. (Yah. Probably didn't do as much damage as the actual plane crash though.)
But Asiana has decided not to sue the NTSB, apparently, because it said it was the TV station report that is to blame.
KTVU-TV is also getting heat from the Asian American Journalists Association.
“We fail to understand how those obviously phony names could escape detection before appearing on the broadcast and were spoken by the news anchor,” the association's president said in a statement.
The pilots were part of the NTSB's investigation into the Asiana Aircraft that went down at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday July 6, killing two teenage girls and injuring hundreds more. Another adolescent girl, who was in critical condition following the accident, recently died as well.
The pilots have now returned to South Korea, where they will have further interviews with South Korean officials.