Chicago News Station Uses Nazi Symbol in a Story About a Jewish Holiday

Chicago News Station Nazi Image Yom KippurA Chicago news station ran a story about Yom Kippur this week and got into hot water when they used a stock image of a Nazi yellow star that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.

Yep, you read that right.

In a story about the holy holiday, Yom Kippur, a news report used an image of the Nazi yellow star.

As you can imagine, the backlash on Twitter and Facebook was enormous.

Now, to their credit, WGN TV immediately issued a proper apology through social media, in which they made no excuses for their error:

Chicago Local News Station Apologizes

And, they likewise, apologized later on-air and issued an official statement.

Last night we ran a story to recognize Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. The artwork chosen to accompany the story came from a graphics image bank. Regrettably, we failed to recognize that the image was an offensive Nazi symbol.

We are extremely embarrassed and we deeply apologize to our viewers and to the Jewish community for this mistake.

Ignorance is not an excuse.

Please know we are reviewing our in house policies and changes have already been made to make sure a hurtful oversight like this never happens again.

Thank you for your understanding. We promise to do better.

Jennifer Lyons
News Director, WGN-TV

To quote, Kevin Allen in PR Daily, this serves as a good reminder to communications professionals to always double check imagery that accompanies your news.

And, it’s true that everyone is entitled to make mistakes. Just this past spring, I wrote about a pasta company that inadvertently used a decapitation painting on their food label. So, clearly, these kinds of oversights are common. In fact, just last year, a retailer faced online backlash when they attempted to sell the same Nazi image on a tee-shirt.

Still, I can’t help but wonder how can anyone be so ignorant of history as to not know what that Nazi yellow star.

Honestly, it concerns me that so many people – from the assistants and interns to the producers and technical guys in the control booth – how did this image even get approved?

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