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Greek Journalist Fired for Racist Remark on Asians During Tokyo Olympics

Greek Journalist Tokyo Olympics
Dimosthenis Karmoiris was fired earlier this week by ERT. Credit: Dimosthenis Karmoiris / Instagram

Dimosthenis Karmoiris, a veteran Greek journalist who specializes in sports, was fired earlier this week by ERT, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, due to the racist remarks he made on air about Asians at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Tuesday morning show of the ERT-1 channel was showing footage from a men’s table tennis match at the Tokyo Olympics between Jeoung Youngsik of South Korea and Panagiotis Gionis of Greece.

Karmoiris’ colleague Dimitris Kottaridis said that the Koreans are excellent table tennis players, after announcing the victory of the Korean player over the Greek athlete.

Karmoiris agreed and said ”Oh, yeah, they’re unbeatable.”

However, he went on to say ”I… I… (wonder) how can they see the ball when they have such slanted eyes?”

Right after this blatantly racist remark, both Karmoiris and Kottaridis laughed as if it was a great joke, moving on to the next topic.

Minutes after this exchange on air, thousands of people went on social media to complain about what had just been heard on Greece’s most popular state-run TV channel.

A Twitter user said: ”Ten years ago, Karmoiris’ racist comment would have not even been noticed. Most parents would have been saying the same thing with pride in cafes. Fortunately, something is changing in our society. Let’s become better people.”

ERT fired Greek journalist hours after his remarks

Following the public outcry, ERT issued a short yet harsh statement on Tuesday.

“Racist comments do not have any place on public television,” the ERT statement  abou the Greek journalist read.

”Demosthenes Karmoiris’ collaboration with ERT ended today, effective immediately after the morning show of ERT-1.”

However, Kottaridis, the colleague of Karmoiris who laughed at his remarks, was not fired. It is noted that he is the main presenter of the daily morning show of ERT-1.

Karmoiris had made a bad impression earlier this month as well, after a derogatory remark he made for Greece’s shooting champion Anna Korakaki.

Following Sunday’s finals of women’s 10 m air pistol, where Korakaki finished 6th, Karmoiris had said that ”she balled it up.”

Following a series of negative reactions for his disrespectful way of treating one of Greece’s greatest athletes, he issued a public apology.

Karmoiris’ Remarks Made Global Headlines

Unfortunately enough for the reputation of the veteran Greek sports commentator, his remarks on Asians made global headlines.

Scores of major news websites across Europe, America, and Asia reported on Tuesday what had just happened on Greece’s public broadcasting network, and informed their readers about his firing a few hours later too.

Karmoiris was born in Piraeus, Athens in 1967. He is a graduate in Greek philology; however, he began working as a journalist at the age of 19.

He has worked for major Greek TV channels including NET, STAR, ANT1, ALPHA, SKAI, and Action24.


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