Discriminating Discrimination: #NBCFail

#NBCFail became a popular hashtag used during the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, twitter users criticizing everything from poor editing to lack of sports coverage. Among these criticisms pouring over Twitter, was one particular that wasn’t as hilarious as the others.Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 7.53.57 PM

Twitter users went in an uproar when the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, gave a brief address in the opening Olympics. The uproar was not over the content of Bach’s speech, but instead the key content NBC chose to omit for viewers at home.

“It is possible—even as competitors—to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason,” read one portion of the speech that NBC edited out of the ceremony.

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With anti gay laws, violent protests and an impending war with the Ukraine, this is not the time to edit out peace talk during the world’s union of athletic achievement. While NBC claims the edits were made strictly for time and had no intention of targeting the anti-gay issues in Russia, it is an interesting decision in the height of speculation. When it all comes down to it, these cuts are made for the purpose of squeezing in more advertising, aka profit, profit, profit. Bach’s words of equality and acceptance all disappeared behind promos of limited time Olympic sized furniture sales.

While sponsors and commercials are necessary, in times of great political and social distress, it seems a little shallow to cover them up with Mcdonald’s promos.

However this is not the first time NBC has chosen a particularly sensitive moment to edit out. During the opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics, the tribute to the victims of the 2007 terrorist attacks in that city were cut. Instead, an interview with American swimmer Michael Phelps was played. In comparison, the swimmer most likely could have waited. In explanation, NBC stated “our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience.” Because non of the 52 victims were American, I guess there wasn’t any point in airing the tribute.


Well who can argue with reasons like that? Western media has never been the most reliable with adequate portrayal of international news or conflict, unless it is in direct association with the U.S. Instead of capitalizing on this opportunity to preach equality and tolerance, it seemed the easier model to promote fast food eating. NBC entertainment doesn’t pride itself on political activism, so I guess we shouldn’t expect it to be it’s highest priority.

Some more funny #NBCfail Tweets:Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 8.01.26 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-02 at 7.53.45 PM

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