NY Times

WGN Apologizes for ‘Extremely Offensive’ Yom Kippur Graphic

Sep 24, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Chicago-based WGN-TV issued an on-air apology for a news segment it aired about Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, that included a symbol of Nazi Germany, The New York Times reports.

The segment was illustrated by a graphic featuring the Star of David with the word “Jude,” or Jew, in the center of it, against a background of blue and white stripes of the type used on Nazi prisoner uniforms, the report notes.

News director Jennifer Lyons appeared on the air Wednesday and said: “Regrettably, we failed to recognize that the artwork we chose to accompany the story contained an offensive symbol. This was an unfortunate mistake. Ignorance is not an excuse.”

The apology followed the report Tuesday in which WGN anchor Tom Negovan read a description of the holiday while the symbol appeared over his shoulder. The report caused a number of people on social media to express shock.

“In an on-air acknowledgment that lasted roughly as long as his original Yom Kippur segment, Mr. Negovan made what he called a ‘major correction’ and said that anchors were not able to see the symbol during the original broadcast,” The Times reports.

Negovan is quoted saying in his follow-up announcement: “We apparently used a symbol that is extremely offensive to the Jewish community. We mistakenly showed a symbol used by Nazi Germany to identify Jews.”

The Times notes: “The badge, which has been used in various forms to discriminate against Jews since the Middle Ages, was used by Nazis in Germany to isolate Jewish people from the rest of society. Aside from using the threat of violence to force Jews to wear the badges on their clothing, Nazis also used the symbol on propaganda leaflets, according to the Holocaust Memorial Center.”

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