BBC Apologizes for Using LeBron James Footage in Kobe Bryant Memorial

An editor called it a “human error”

Last Updated: January 27, 2020 @ 11:09 AM

An editor for the BBC’s “News At Ten” program apologized on Sunday for the show’s handling of the death of American basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report. We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme,” tweeted editor Paul Royall. 

Another BBC News journalist, Robert Rea, followed that up: “To be clear, one producer on the Ten o’clock News missed it. The rest of the newsroom said ‘that’s not Kobe Bryant’ the moment it was broadcast. My team on the News Channel replaced the offending pictures immediately so they wouldn’t be re-broadcast.”

Rea called it a “dreadful mistake” and urged viewers not to blame “those of us who know what Kobe looks like, and who broadcast about his death for 2 hours before the Ten o’clock news came on air.”

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people were killed when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying the former Los Angeles Laker crashed at about 10 a.m. PT Sunday, officials said. The helicopter’s manufacturer is cooperating with the investigation, the company said in a statement.

In addition to Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, and Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at an elementary school in Orange County were among those killed. The other three passengers remain unidentified.

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