Asiana jokes: Racist or just bad taste?By Madison Park, CNNUpdated 1445 GMT (2145 HKT) July 17, 2013Just WatchedAsiana filing suit against TV stationreplayMore Videos ...Asiana filing suit against TV station 02:16Story highlightsSome question why KTVU's fake pilot names were offensiveRacial jokes have been made about deadly plane crash that killed 3Advocates decry jokes about Asian driving, Korean culture theories and fake namesThe names, which some liken to slurs, spread everywhere -- triggering anger in the United States as well as South Korea. Last week, KTVU, a TV station based in the San Francisco area, aired what it believed were the names of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 pilots. A National Transportation Safety Board intern confirmed the bogus names -- phrases which sounded like "Something Wrong" and "We Too Low." And hello, perfect storm. Or as one blogger put it -- "an epic mind-blowing fail." Read: KTVU corrects story, issues apologyJust WatchedKoreans upset with Asiana name prankreplayMore Videos ...Koreans upset with Asiana name prank 02:29PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedAsiana crash survivors could sue BoeingreplayMore Videos ...Asiana crash survivors could sue Boeing 02:54PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedAsiana filing suit against TV stationreplayMore Videos ...Asiana filing suit against TV station 02:16PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedAsiana to sue over fake pilot namesreplayMore Videos ...Asiana to sue over fake pilot names 04:49PLAY VIDEOThe crash of the South Korean carrier had already hit racial notes -- with jokes mocking Asian driving or piloting skills and questions whether the crash had to do with the Korean culture.U.S. comedian Bill Maher quipped on his show, "Now that we know the cause of that Asiana Airlines crash was the pilots flying too slowly, I don't want to hear another word about me doing Asian driver jokes." His comment followed an array of similar jokes on social media.Phil Yu of the "Angry Asian Man" blog, said he was bracing himself for jokes after the crash. "It's completely inappropriate especially because we're talking about a tragedy. People died, people were seriously injured," he said.The crash prompted speculation as to whether the Korean cultural deference to authority played a role in bringing the Boeing 777 down on the San Francisco runway on July 6. This is a hypothesis made about Korean airlines long before the Asiana crash. A blogger at Ask a Korean sarcastically asked: "What is it about American culture that contributed a local station with heavily Asian population to blindly buy the obviously false representation from the NTSB? Is there an inherent deference to authority in American culture that contributed to this gaffe?"The bogus names prompted the South Korean carrier to say it would take legal action against KTVU, because "it was their report that resulted in damaging the company's image." Several legal and PR experts questioned the wisdom of the lawsuit -- which the airline later said it would not pursue, while others on CNN's discussion board questioned whether the joke was even racist. "Ah yes, the "r" word: racism. And the "o" word: offensive," wrote one commenter. "Get over it. A mildly clever person pulled a reasonably funny (if insensitive - to the victims of the crash) prank." "I honestly believe nobody has a sense of humor anymore, and when someone does, they have to apologize for it. Get over it. It was hilarious!" another wrote.Asiana won't sue TV stationAsian-American advocates say that creating vaguely Asian sounding names to crack jokes about a deadly plane accident that killed three Chinese girls is completely insensitive."Making up Asian names or mimicking foreign accents are not innocent forms of satire," wrote Paul Cheung and Bobby Calvan, of the Asian American Journalists Association. "Doing so demeans and hurts." Racial jokes around the fatal air crash "are not benign," said Claire Jean Kim, an associate professor of political science and Asian American Studies at the University of California Irvine.Just WatchedLooking back at the Asiana crashreplayMore Videos ...Looking back at the Asiana crash 03:15PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedAsiana flight attendants return homereplayMore Videos ...Asiana flight attendants return home 02:08PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedCrash of Asiana Flight 214replayMore Videos ...Crash of Asiana Flight 214 02:50PLAY VIDEO"Those kinds of jokes reflect a deeper view of Asian Americans as culturally different and inferior," she said. "That's not a joke, that has material effects. It leads to a general sense, even those who are born here in the U.S., they simply don't belong." Kim says denying that something is racist is a sign of the times."People are minimizing it as a joke," she said. "In this particular period, many people claim that racism is a thing of the past, we live in a colorblind society, we should brush these things off."The mocking of Asian names dates back to when immigrants arrived to the United States, said Gary Okihiro, founding director of the Center for Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University."In the 19th century, many immigration officials who first greeted Asian migrants demeaned them, by first of all, making fun of their names because they couldn't pronounce them properly, or assigning them names like John Chinaman or China Mary," he said."Anything foreign seems to be open season or free game," Okihiro said.Passengers begin legal action against BoeingAsiana Flight 214 crashPilots blamed for Asiana crashPilots botched the approach and landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco nearly a year ago, causing a crash that killed three people and injured 187 others, investigators concluded.NTSB: 'Lot of holes' led to Asiana crash The National Transportation Safety Board held a hearing to determine the cause of the 2013 Asiana Flight 214 plane crash.Asiana crash victims sue BoeingA group of passengers who were aboard an Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed has sued aircraft manufacturer Boeing.No charges for firefighter who ran over survivorThe firefighter who accidentally ran over and killed a 16-year-old girl who survived the crash will not be charged in the case.Asiana fined $500,000 for failing to help familiesThe U.S. Department of Transportation fined Asiana Airlines $500,000 for failing to assist families following the crash of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco in July.Girls killed in crash were headed for campThe two teen girls were close friends, each looking forward to a summer trip to California to improve their English. Shock and survival: Through the eyes of children After 10 long hours in the sky, the Jang children couldn't wait to get off the plane. What should my child know about plane crashes?I didn't expect my 5-year-old daughter to first learn about airplane crashes while we were in the air. 911 calls detail horror of crashShortly after Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed in San Francisco, passengers and witnesses pleaded with 911 responders to send help -- some frantically, some insistently.Interactive: What happened?Here's what we know about the crash landing, told through animation and graphics.Did Asiana passengers ignore safety messages?As a plume of black smoke billowed from Asiana Airlines flight 214 after it crash landed, images were captured of passengers collecting their carry-on items before evacuating.Co-pilots for airlines will need more trainingPilots will need more cockpit training to become fully certified first officers for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines.Asiana flight attendants hailed as heroesVeteran flight attendant Lee Yoon Hye sensed something was awry as Flight 214 neared the San Francisco International Airport runway.Did Asiana pilot have enough 777 experience?As Asiana Airlines Flight 214 flew into San Francisco, the Boeing 777's 219 passengers didn't know that the man at the controls had never landed this kind of plane at this airport before. Witness captures fatal jet crash"Look at that one -- look at how his nose is up in the air."Why the crash was survivableOf the 307 people on board, only two are confirmed dead. 'I just crash landed. Surreal'Nearly three hours after the crash, David Eun walked through customs at San Francisco International Airport. By then, the adrenaline rush was subsiding enough that he could begin processing the enormity of it all.Images of the crashPhotos from the scene show a trail of debris down the runway and people waiting for their loved ones.Asiana's safety recordAsiana Airlines had coped with a pair of deadly crashes over the past 20 years before a Boeing 777 crash landed in San Francisco and burst into flames on Saturday.More from usCourt to toss Friendship Nine's convictions for sit-in protestsPower goes out, she goes into laborWas media booted from trial of Kendrick Johnson's parents?