French journalist Emmanuel Lechypre has apologised after making a jibe about "Burying Pokémons" during BFM TV's coverage of China's day of mourning for coronavirus victims.

The business reporter made the comment on Saturday as the channel was broadcasting live footage of a three-minute silence observed across China.

During the video segment, Lechypre was heard to whisper "they are burying the Pokémons", unaware that his microphone was live and his comment was transmitted on air.

Lechypre's apology has done little to pacify those who have complained about the comment:

This morning on BFM TV, I allowed myself a totally inappropriate remark during the broadcast of a tribute to the victims of the virus in China. These inappropriate comments were broadcast on the air when I thought the microphones were closed. I sincerely apologize.

BFM TV boss Marc-Olivier Fogiel has also apologised to viewers, but many have taken to social media demanding that Lechypre lose his job over the comment, which some have branded as racist. It goes without saying that Pokémon originates not from China, but from Japan, which gives this complaint some weight.