The BBC mocks Japanese bombing survivor

23 Jan

About a year and a half ago I wrote a post about Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

He was the only person officially recognized by the Japanese government as a survivor of both the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Click here to read the post that explains his story in more detail.

Well, I saw on the TV news today about the extremely insensitive “comedy” show that the BBC of England aired that made light of Mr. Yamaguchi’s story.

Japan lodged an official complaint with the BBC and many Japanese people e-mailed the station to express their anger and disappointment over the show which was titled “The Unluckiest Man In The World”.

On the show they laughed and joked about the experiences of Mr. Yamaguchi. With comments such as “(maybe) the bomb landed on him and bounced off”.

The BBC has issued an apology for the episode and removed the video of it from their website, but the surviving members of Mr. Yamaguchi’s family said that they could never forgive them.

Here is the offending broadcast:

6 Responses to “The BBC mocks Japanese bombing survivor”

  1. David January 24, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    I am unable to watch the video. I get this message:

    “This is a private video. If you have been sent this video, please make sure you accept the sender’s friend request”


    • tokyo5 January 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t know what happened to that YouTube clip.

      But I just found the same segment on another YouTube clip and edited this post…so you should be able to watch it now.


  2. Dan Elvins January 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    I agree.

    British humour is a very “ironic” and mocking type of humour indeed, insulting even the people close to us. But yeah, as I said, this ia bit over the line. eventhough its making fun of 1 single person, hundreds of others werent as lucky.


    • tokyo5 January 23, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

      >hundreds of others werent as lucky.

      That’s true…but I don’t think that’s even the reason the BBC was out of line.
      Making a joke when a politician or celebrity acts foolish can be funny…but laughing at someone’s (even a single person) hardships is callous and mean.


  3. Dan Elvins January 23, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    Being British I can say that this show is actually a comedy show, however the subject wasn’t comedic at all. The BBC should probably have screened this before they aired it, however I will say that making light of a bad situation is a very British thing to do.

    Even when 9/11 happened British people still saw the lighter side of it, and when we had the terrorist bombings (oddly enough on stations I travel through a lot) there was a very strong sense of “don’t dwell on it look to the future” sort of thing going on.

    When I read that article of yours when you 1st posted it, I must admit, I also found the concept briefly amusing, as its such an unlucky thing to have happened to someone, of course he came out alive and healthy in the end and lived a long life. If he had died because of it then it would have been a very different story.

    I’m not saying of course that this broadcast was a good idea, clearly not, I’m merely saying that I can understand it a tiny bit, however the situation is not something you can really make light of…whichever way you look at it.

    These kind of shows often mock political situations around the globe too, its quite common I suppose.
    Unfortunately comedy is one of those things that is drastically different from person to person, this is a subject that can easily offend an entire nation however, which is also quite different.


    • tokyo5 January 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      I can appreciate that other countries have cultures quite different from what I’m used to. And I’ve heard that English people enjoy a mocking or ironic type of humor.

      Generally speaking I think British humor is funny…but there is a line.

      Making fun of someone’s personal tragedies isn’t humorous to me (and most other people too, I’d say).


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