A French rolling news broadcaster had to apologize on Saturday after one of its reporters heard "they bury the Pokemons" whispering while reporting on China's Day of Mourning for Corona Virus Victims.
BFMTV and its journalist Emmanuel Lechypre were rated racist and "shockingly insensitive" on social media after the business reporter commented on live recordings of the three-minute silence observed in China.
According to official data, the pandemic in China, which first occurred there in December, killed around 3,300 people.
Lechypre later apologized and said he didn't know his microphone was on.
"I took the liberty of saying something totally inappropriate because I thought the microphones were turned off. I'm very sorry."
The station's chief, Marc-Olivier Fogiel, also apologized to the viewers, although it remains unclear whether Lechypre will be sanctioned.
Many on social media called for his release, while others pointed out that Pokemon characters are actually Japanese.
The Chinese tribute was led by President Xi Jinping, with the whole country coming to a standstill as cars, trains, and ships sounded their horns and howl of air raid sirens.
Beijing said the tribute was an opportunity to mourn the "martyrs" of the virus – an honorary title the government awarded this week to 14 medical professionals who died in the fight against the outbreak – including the doctor who was commissioned by officials for the Alert was punished.
The COVID-19 epidemic started in China and infected at least 1.1 million people worldwide, bringing the global economy to a standstill.
The country now seems to be over the worst of the outbreak.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)