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Sweden TV Channel Says It Didn't Know It Was Using Costa Rica National Anthem for Comedy Game Show Commercial

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First Posted: Aug 26, 2014 11:07 AM EDT
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Pictured is the set for TV4's "Parlamentet," a Swedish comedy game show. (Photo : Egon Eagle/Wikimedia Commons)

TV4, a Swedish TV network, is apologizing to the country of Costa Rica for using its national anthem for a commercial for an upcoming comedy show.

According to The Associated Press, the TV channel used Costa Rica's national anthem to promote "Parlamentet." The program is a game show which often features well-known Swedish comedians.

Costa Ricans who are residing in Sweden reportedly complained to their homeland, promoting the Central American nation to release a "diplomatic protest," according to AP. The country called the use of the song "a grave disrespect to our national symbol."

On Friday, Anders Edholm, TV4 spokesman, said that producers of the "Parlamentet" game show contacted Costa Rican ambassadors in Sweden and Norway and offered apologies from the network.

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"If any Costa Ricans were offended we of course apologize," he said.

The spokesman said that after Aug. 24, when the first episode of the new season of "Parlamentet" aired, the commercial featuring the Costa Rican national anthem would no longer be played on the network.

The decision has satisfied Costa Rican Ambassador Manuel Antonio Barrantes Rodriguez.

"At the same time we feel offended," he said in an interview with AP. "It's outrageous to use a national anthem as background music."

According to Edholm, the anthem was found by producers of the game show in a music library and was selected because it was thought to be "beautiful and grand." He said that the producers did not know that the song was Costa Rica's national anthem.

"Parlamentet," which translates into "The Parliament," has been on the air since 1999, according to IMDb. On the show, "Swedish comedians in disguise try dirty tricks on politicians and give their own obstinate solutions to Sweden's problems," according to a statement on the site, and "is based on the original idea 'If I ruled the world' from Hat Trick."

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 Follow Scharon Harding on Twitter: @ScharHar.

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