Fuji Television Network has apologized to families of the victims of the July 18 arson attack on a Kyoto Animation studio after misquoting a friend of anime director Yasuhiro Takemoto, who died in the blaze, as saying “there was no idiot like him” during a news program that aired Sunday.
Takemoto’s former high school classmate, whose name is being withheld, actually said “there was no genius like him” when talking about the director of popular anime series “Lucky Star,” according to the TV station.
The misquote “dishonored” Takemoto and the TV network “deeply” apologizes for “causing so much trouble” to the bereaved families and the friend who was interviewed, a spokesperson for Fuji TV told The Japan Times.
The arson attack at the popular studio killed 35 workers and has shaken fans of anime and Japanese pop culture worldwide.
The error took place during a live news program on Sunday afternoon. An inset, shown on the upper right corner of the screen, misquoted the former high school classmate.
A staffer mistyped the inset because he or she “was too busy” during the live broadcast, the spokesperson said.
The inset was shown for 30 seconds during the news program. Seven minutes later, the host of the TV program apologized for the error.
Takemoto, 47, was a well-known anime director and “Lucky Star” is one of the most popular works by Kyoto Animation Co.