NBC Chicago made a critical error in its broadcast Tuesday morning.
The local news outlet featured footage of K-pop band BTS on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, zooming in on frontman RM’s face, during a report on the death of fellow K-pop artist Kim Jong-hyun. Kim, known to fans as Jonghyun, was the lead singer of band SHINee and died on Monday after committing suicide.
In the broadcast, the outlet erroneously claimed that SHINee had just appeared on DeGeneres’ show as well as the American Music Awards, when BTS had in fact made those appearances. The clip that NBC 5 featured on the segment actually showed RM introducing himself by name.
NBC Chicago apologized on air Wednesday morning and admitted to the multiple flaws in its segment. It also posted a statement on its Facebook page.
“Yesterday, while reporting on the death of Kim Jong-hyun, a member of the popular South Korean boy band SHINee, NBC 5 mistakenly aired video of the band BTS during our morning newscast,” the outlet wrote. “We sincerely apologize for this error.”
The correction followed a flurry of criticism from K-pop fans who were outraged by how the outlet handled the sensitive news. The blunder had prompted #NBCChicagoApologize to begin trending on Twitter, with fans of both BTS and SHINee demanding the network set things straight.
And some people reminded the outlet that not all Asians look the same.
Fans of the two bands also came together in a moment of unity on Tuesday as BTS arrived at Jonghyun’s funeral to pay their respects.