HomeAsian AmericansABC Apologizes for Mistakenly Identifying Activist as Michelle Go

ABC Apologizes for Mistakenly Identifying Activist as Michelle Go

ABC News has apologized for mistakenly identifying New York City Assembly candidate and activist Grace Lee as Michelle Go, the woman who was murdered on a subway platform.

Lee was identified as Michelle Go while being interviewed at a vigil for Christina Yuna Lee, the woman who was stabbed to death in her apartment. Lee posted about the mistake on Twitter.

“@ABCWorldNews, my name is Grace Lee. I am a community activist,” Lee wrote on Twitter. Michelle Go was an Asian woman who was brutally murdered last month. I was at a vigil today for Christina Yuna Lee. Your mistake is harmful and further invisibilizes Asian women.”

Today, the Asian American Journalists Association announced that ABC News had issued an apology to AAJA for the mistake.

“ABC News deeply regrets this isolated error and immediately corrected it,” the statement read. “We have apologized directly to the parties involved and have spoken to Grace Lee and the AAJA. This was an unfortunate technical error, not one born from insensitivity. However, we do acknowledge and apologize for the hurt mistakes like this can cause to the Asian community. Our track record of fair reporting and elevating marginalized voices speaks to our sincerity.”

AAJA “commended” ABC News for their apology in a press release. They also commended NBC for apologizing for mixing up two Black women during their Superbowl coverage.

In their press release, AAJA also outlined steps newsrooms could take to improve diversity and ensure that those mistakes do not happen again:

  • Prioritize and set tangible benchmarks for recruiting, hiring and promoting AAPIs and journalists and newsroom leaders and managers of color; 
  • Properly and regularly train staff and leadership to be culturally conscious, and actively question personal biases and assumptions; 
  • Invest financially in developing newsrooms where diversity in newsgathering and news coverage is truly prioritized, from the highest executives on down;
  • Provide the extra support, resources and compensation that minority journalists may need and deserve as they disproportionately shoulder the emotional toll of coverage that affects communities of color.

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