A CNBC reporter has been accused of using an offensive slur on the air, although some observers say the word was used completely unintentionally.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the incident involves reporter Robert Frank, who was talking about Wendi Deng’s impending divorce from media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. "What do you think the chink in the armor here might be?" Frank asked during the discussion of Deng, who was born in China.
Frank uses the word "chink" twice during the exchange.
The phrase previously got an ESPN headline writer fired after using it in a story about NBA player Jeremy Lin. The Asian American Journalists Association told Media Matters for America that the term is "offensive."
Media Matters sent an email to journalists after the CNBC exchange, citing the AAJA’s media watch chair Bobby Caina Calvan. Media Matters said while Calvan said the question may have been "spoken innocently," the phrase shouldn’t be used when talking about Asian Americans, the story notes.
A CNBC representative said the term’s use was "totally unintentional."
Here’s a clip of the report, with the controversial word appearing — twice — around the 3:23 mark.