- More woes for NBC after it shows ad featuring monkey doing gymnastics, right after Gabby Douglas’ big win
- Commercial was for Animal Practice – an upcoming NBC sitcom
- NBC says ‘no offense was intended’ with the ad
- She’s now an international celebrity after taking gold in all-around gymnastics competition on Thursday
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.’
The broadcast then went to a commercial break, showing an advertisement featuring a monkey wearing a gymnastics uniform and performing a rings gymnastics event.
The unintentional, but poorly-timed ad was for Animal Practice, an upcoming NBC sitcom.
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.
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.’
Gabby may be a rising star in gymnastics, but the golden achievement has also brought unwanted attention.
The race uproar came after another nasty row involving Twitter over the gymnastics sensation’s hair, expressing their disapproval over how it was styled.
Critics have argued that her dark locks should in fact mimic the tight, ballerina-style bun that gymnasts usually tuck their hair into.
One user wrote: ‘Gabby Douglas gotta [sic] do something with this hair! These clips and this brown gel residue aint it!’.
Another posted: ‘In Olympic news, why hasn’t anyone tried to fix Gabby Douglas’ hair?’.
To which a further user replied: ‘That’s an Olympic sport too!’
Despite the unwanted criticism, Douglas has also had a strong show of support from public figures like singers P!nk and Nicki Minaj, as well as Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American secretary of state.
The Capuchin monkey in the ad, named Crystal, is the same primate that appears in We Bought a Zoo, The Hangover Part II and the Night at the Museum films.
She also appears in Community, another NBC sitcom.
NBC’s broadcast of the London games has come under intense scrutiny, which has been exacerbated due to Twitter, which viewers have used as a soap box to gripe about the coverage.
It was accused of manufacturing unnecessary suspense for the women’s team gymnastics final on Wednesday night- which was arguably not even close.
Protests erupted earlier this week following a promo that showed U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin with her gold medal – moments before the network aired the dramatic race in which she won it.
In a statement to MailOnline, NBC apologised for the tape delay mistake.
On Monday night, a Los Angeles-based reporter and vocal critic of the network had his Twitter page suspended.
Guy Adams, who writes for The Independent, lost his account after NBC complained he tweeted the email address of NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel so viewers could ‘tell him what you think.’
Adams’ account was later reinstated.
There was also outrage over NBC’s decision to cut a tribute for the victims of the London 2005 terrorist bombings from its Olympics Opening Ceremony coverage on Friday.
The network said it did not air the tribute because it wasn’t tailored for the U.S. audience – and aired a Ryan Seacrest interview with iconic swimmer Michael Phelps instead.
Watch video here
All America is so proud of this wonderful young person – congratuations Gabby!
– Ketch57, Jackson, USA, 05/8/2012 00:20
I have no respect for a company that apologises for something that doesn’t need an apology! Most stupid thing iv read (today) x
– heatherw, uk, 05/8/2012 00:20
get a life people!!!it is obvious that it was an innocent mistake!!!!no body in their right mind would honestly believe that it was done on purpose, yee Gods!!!!!
– harry downs, parkside,usa, 05/8/2012 00:17
You have no idea, have you, of the contempt that the rest of the world holds us in……….
– himself, New York, 05/8/2012 00:16
If a human cannot see the difference between a monkey (has a tail) and a human being with a variant amount of Melanin…perhaps they should turn off the TV and go to school. Seems that the less educated you are…you more prone to being “offended” you are.
– Matt, Colorado, USA, 05/8/2012 00:13
I remember a similarly bad taste situation when the Japanese Tsunami hit. Sky News cut to a commercial and their sponsor was something to do with the Caribbean, and they were showing lesson on how to be more caribbean. Lesson 10: Learn to ride the wave!
– Chris X, Beverley, 04/8/2012 23:58
Ha ha – brilliant!!!
– MRA, Manchester, 04/8/2012 23:54
This was NOT an accident. It shows how mean-spirited the leftists are. We need to throw all leftists out of government, and otherwise demand accountability from our supposedly “free press”!
– RightStuff, Texas, USA, 04/8/2012 23:54
Liberals are the ones who claim that humans are the offspring of Monkey ancestors. The special kinship they claim should be honored and not one they are ashamed of. I grew up with the belief that my relatives are all human and have human brains from the beginning. I understand the disadvantage of bring a Liberal with what they claim is simply a modified monkey brain. It causes them to see monkeys as some part of the family of which they are deeply ashamed…
– alanwillingham, Tuscaloosa USA, 04/8/2012 23:53
I agree this is a tempest in a teapot. There is simply no connection, zero, between the beautiful, talented and graceful Gabby and that ad. However, NBC lives by the PC rule, so it dies by the PC rule. Will the nonsense ever end?
– Jerry Pomeroy, Menifee, CA, 04/8/2012 23:53