Chicago TV station WGN ran a news story Tuesday night about the start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement and the holiest holiday in Judaism.
The photo the station used, however, was just about the most inappropriate one imaginable: The yellow Star of David badge, which Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
Holy crap, @WGNNews, this is your stock photo for a Jewish holiday?? Nobody thought that's a bad choice of photo? pic.twitter.com/z7BNuvGybS
— Marc Karlinsky (@MarcKarlinsky) September 23, 2015
Here’s a description of the badge’s history from the Holocaust Remembrance Center:
“The German government’s policy of forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else. […] Those who failed or refused to wear the badge risked severe punishment, including death.”
WGN quickly apologized on Twitter.
We are truly sorry for inadvertently using an offensive image in our Yom Kippur story. We apologize and deeply regret the error.
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) September 23, 2015
The station also later issued a statement on their website:
“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.”