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ABC’s ‘In Memoriam’ gaffe featuring Migos rapper draws criticism

An “In Memoriam” segment aired during ABC’s “The Year: 2022” special on Dec. 26 featured a tribute to slain Migos rapper Takeoff but instead showed bandmate Quavo, who is still alive.

An “In Memoriam” segment aired during ABC’s “The Year: 2022” special on Dec. 26 featured a tribute to slain Migos rapper Takeoff but instead showed bandmate Quavo, who is still alive.

Screengrab from @shauntabee1’s TikTok

ABC has apologized after paying tribute to the wrong Migos member during the network’s annual “The Year: 2022” news special — though it did little to quell online criticism.

The program, which aired Monday, Dec. 26, was hosted by veteran journalist Robin Roberts and offered viewers a recap of the year’s biggest moments in news, music, politics and pop culture.

An “In Memoriam” segment honoring notable figures who died this year featured Takeoff, a Georgia native and one-third of the Grammy-nominated rap group Migos.

Takeoff, born Kirshnik Khari Ball, was fatally shot during a party at a Houston bowling alley in November. He was 28 years old.

The rapper’s name appeared among several prominent entertainers who passed away — but featured a photo of bandmate and uncle, Quavo, who is alive.

On Tuesday, ABC News Studios apologized for the “unfortunate error” and said that it had been fixed. However, several viewers had already voiced outrage over the photo flub on social media.

“That’s not Takeoff,” a TikTok user says amid a heavy sigh as the “In Memoriam” plays on her TV screen. “That’s awful.”

This isn’t the first time a blunder involving Black entertainers has triggered strong reactions online.

In September, announcers mistook singer Dionne Warwick for fellow songstress Gladys Knight during the U.S. Open. Backlash was also swift after NBC News ran a photo of comic Kevin Hart alongside a story about Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt in 2020.

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Takeoff of Migos performs at the Wireless Music Festival, Crystal Palace Park, London, England, on Sept. 12, 2021. Prosecutors allege the man accused of fatally shooting rapper Takeoff last month outside a Houston bowling alley sought information on how fake plane tickets could be used to obtain an expedited passport in his efforts to flee the country and repeatedly made online searches about whether he was a suspect. (AP Photo/Scott Garfitt, File) Scott Garfitt AP

Tanasia is a national Real-Time reporter based in Atlanta covering news across Georgia, Mississippi and the Southeast. Her sub-beat is retail and consumer news. She’s an alumna of Kennesaw State University and joined McClatchy in 2020.



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