So I am really obsessed with the Olympics. I think the amount of work and dedication that these athletes have dedicated to becoming the best of the best is truly admirable — especially the young ones who could be out partying with their friends.
In particular I have always loved gymnastics. And I love Gabby Douglas because she just has such an exuberance about her. You can tell that she really, really loves gymnastics. I also think that she has probably overcome a lot, because like it or not, there are not many minority gymnasts. So I was pretty upset when I read that people were criticizing her for her hair. WTF? I mean this little girl is 17 and has been working her ass off to represent the USA and you are going to say she needs a perm? Get off your couch and try doing the stuff she did.
So when that girl won the Olympics, and because the first African American woman to win the Women’s gymnastics individuals, I was so excited (especially after watching the little Russian girl have a tantrum over getting the silver.) NBC’s announcer gave a short segment about how great her smile was, and how she is the first African American woman to win, etc.
And then they cut to a commercial about a zookeeper show or something. But it wasn’t any commercial. The beginning screen showed a monkey widely grinning and hanging off of gymnastics rings. I kid you not. As soon as I saw it, I exclaimed “What the Fuck are they doing? Are you serious?) That’s some seriously poor taste. And you can’t say it was a mistake because the gymnastics were pre-recorded.
Throughout the entire Olympics I have had issues with how NBC has been cutting out parts, showing clips, showing more commercials than actual games and not allowing viewership online. But that commercial placement seriously crossed the line. Regardless of whether it was intended to be openly racist, or if it was just a poor slot placement doesn’t matter. It was offensive and inappropriate.
Talking about it the next day, several of my other coworkers also had the same impression and were equally shocked that a major news network would make such a mistake. I hope that the next time around, NBC is not even in the running for the rights. Poorly played NBC, poorly played.