Two contributors to Telemundo’s morning show have been placed on indefinite suspension after they made racist gestures on Wednesday’s edition of morning news show “Un Nuevo Dia” in connection to South Korea’s victory over Germany at the World Cup.
Telemundo confirmed that James Tahhan and Janice Bencosme have been suspended as a result of the incident. Tahhan and Bencosme have since apologized for their actions.
Viewers posted screen grabs on social media that depicted Tahhan making a slant-eyed gesture in reference to the South Korean team. Bencosme also apologized for making the same gesture. The hosts were celebrating the fact that South Korea’s win allowed Mexico to advance in the competition.
“We are extremely disappointed with our morning show contributors James Tahhan’s and Janice Bencosme’s gestures referring to the South Korean national soccer team,” Telemundo said in a statement. “Our company takes this type of inappropriate behavior very seriously as it is contrary to our values and standards.”
Tahhan, who also has a following as a chef, acknowledged his mistake.
“During the celebration for the classification of Mexico, I made a mistake and made an inappropriate and insensitive gesture towards the Asian community,” Tahhan said. “It was a lack of sensitivity on my part. I admit that I did something wrong and wanted to apologize to anyone who was offended by it. The World Cup is a great opportunity to bring together friends, strangers, families and entire countries, and not to divide our communities.”
Bencosme echoed Tahhan’s sentiment.
“I want to apologize to the public for my behavior yesterday after the game between Mexico and South Korea,” she said. “My gesture, besides being inappropriate, was offensive to the Asian community. I was wrong and I want to offer my sincere apologies.”