Sunday Reads: Part APosted: August 5, 2012
Just a quick couple of links for you this morning, I will post a longer round-up a bit later.
Gabby Douglas wins the Gold Medal, and this is how NBC follows it up.
One of NBC’s new fall shows is Animal Practice, a show about doctors, animals, and the hilarious hijinks they will surely get into on a weekly basis. One of the stars of the show is a little monkey, and as a tie-in for its Olympics coverage, NBC is airing a promo for the show featuring the monkey as a gymnast. Last night, the promo aired right after Bob Costas remarked that gymnast Gabby Douglas winning the gold medal would inspire young African-American girls, and NBC is now apologizing and denying any offense was meant in airing the monkey ad.
Can you believe it!
NBC was planning on having the gymnastics-themed ad airing right after the gymnastics-heavy segment, according to the Associated Press. The AP deals how the situation unfolded.
“Much of America has fallen in love with Gabby Douglas,” Costas said. “Also safe to say that there are some young African-American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves, ‘Hey, I’d like to try that, too.’”
Then NBC switched to the commercial with the small, widely grinning monkey on the rings. Blacks in the past have been disparagingly referred to as monkeys to the point where it is considered a common slur.
Video of the cut-away at the link up top.
NBC was then “forced” to apologize: Gabby Douglas: NBC forced to apologise after ad features a monkey doing gymnastics right AFTER victory | Mail Online
NBC has become the centre of a race storm after airing an ad featuring a monkey performing gymnastics, right after showing the performance of Gabby Douglas, the first African-American to win Olympic gold.
The network has since apologised for the advert’s poor timing, explaining: ‘No offense was intended.’
The controversy ignited as sportscaster Bob Costas wrapped his analysis of her incredible routine during the all-around competition last night.
Costas said: ‘There are some African American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves: “Hey, I’d like to try that too.” More from London in a moment.’
Angry viewers lashed out at the network on social media platforms like Twitter, accusing them of racism.
‘Disgusted at NBC for showing Animal Practice with monkey right after Gabby wins her gold,’ one user posted.Monkey business: The ad was for the upcoming NBC sitcom Animal PracticeRage: Angry viewers lashed out at the network on social media platforms like Twitter, accusing them of racism
Another called it ‘risky.’
In a statement to MailOnline, NBC Sports said: ‘Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement.
‘This spot promoting ’Animal Practice,’ which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended.’
The Daily Mail has those few tweets commenting on the commercial above, but I do not think they get at the heart of the matter. Buzzfeed had some with a little more bite.
But this racist segue was not the only thing Gabby has to contend with. She got berated over and over by twits who posted tweets about her hair! Unfuckingbelievable!
On Thursday, 16-year-old gymnastics phenomenon Gabby Douglas won Olympic gold for the U.S. But as Michael Eric Dyson noted on The Ed Show, all a small number of Twitter critics could focus on was the African-American athlete’s hair.
“Gabby Douglas, you made history w/your impeccable talent & hideous hair,” spewed @BReeMonroe.
Gabby, who is just 4-feet-11-inches tall and flipped and spun through the air in a way that’s less than conducive to keeping every hair perfectly in place, wore her hair in a slightly messy bun that was gelled back with hairclips.
“Congrats to Gabby Douglas on her gold metal (sic)! I wish I could say the same. about that hair! Omg horrible!” blared @shestaken.
“We, as a Black community gotta fix Gabby Douglas’s hair,” chimed in @sarocious.
Video at the link has a op-ed by Dyson, give it a looksee:
Dyson was appalled by the online disparagement of the pint-sized powerhouse, and chastised critics for their callous prioritization of aesthetics over athletic prowess.
“Gabby Douglas is an Olympic champion,” Dyson said.
“She’s being recognized on the world stage for her ability to outperform her completion in a sport,” he added. “And to get there, she had to break a sweat just like everyone else. That should be the focus.”
Fortunately, Gabby is taking it all in stride as a true champion:
She took to Twitter after she won gold, tweeting, “WOW such an AMAZING experience! Thank you all for your support, love and prayers love you all!!! #oncloud9 <3″
So for Gabby, this song is for you…
Ring your own bells, and keep doing it for yourself!