Morning Hosts Suspended Over Racist Gestures

Telemundo disciplines pair who made slant-eye expressions after South Korea victory
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2018 9:01 AM CDT
Morning Hosts Suspended Over Racist Gestures
South Korea's Kim Young-gwon celebrates his goal against Germany.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Two morning hosts on Telemundo who thought it was hysterical to make slant-eye gestures in regard to South Korea's soccer team have been suspended. The network, owned by NBCUniversal, disciplined James Tahhan and Janice Bencosme and said it was "extremely disappointed" in their actions Wednesday morning, reports Deadline. Both have publicly apologized. The two were among several hosts on set celebrating after South Korea pulled off a stunning World Cup upset of defending champ Germany—thus allowing Mexico to advance. The upset was particularly huge because Mexico had lost its own game that same morning, and the team's chances of advancing were grim.

You can see the on-set celebration here. The video shows Tahhan making the gesture for quite a while, cracking up the others. Bencosme is among those laughing, and then she quickly makes the gesture herself. "It was a lack of sensitivity on my part," says Tahhan, who also is a chef. "I admit that I did something wrong and wanted to apologize to anyone who was offended by it." Bencosme said much the same, per Variety: "My gesture, besides being inappropriate, was offensive to the Asian community. I was wrong and I want to offer my sincere apologies." It's not clear how long they'll be out. (More Telemundo stories.)

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