NBC has caused outrage over its decision to cut a tribute for the victims of the London 2005 Muslim terrorist bombings from its Olympics Opening Ceremony coverage by explaining it 'wasn't tailored for the U.S. audience.' I guess, being the in-house TV station of the White House, NBC was instructed not to show anything that would put Muslims in a bad light.
UK Daily Mail (H/T ReverRidesAgain) A tribute song, Abide With Me by singer Emeli Sandé, and an accompanying dance was edited out of NBC's coverage in favour of a bland Ryan Seacrest interview with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.
'Our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience,' spokesman Greg Hughes simply explained after outrage over the weekend. 'It's a tribute to [producer] Danny Boyle that it required so little editing.'
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The excuse comes despite the fact that the devastating attack - which killed 52 people and left many with life-changing injuries - was mourned across the globe and claimed the life of a New Yorker. The latest excuse will no doubt annoy Americans, who NBC suggested would not be interested in a tribute to victims just because the tragedy did not occur in their country.
Even the far left wing Daily Kos was outraged: "Can you imagine the BBC opting to cut out a tribute to 9/11 at a future Olympics held in the States because it wasn't "tailored for a UK audience"?' Daily Kos fumed. 'If that happened... the switchboards at BBC Broadcasting House would have blown a fuse.'"
The segment's choreographer and dancer Akram Khan said he was 'disheartened and disappointed' that NBC cut the entire segment, while his director Nicholas Wolaver branded it 'disgraceful'. NBC is known for cutting away for small portions of the opening ceremonies to make way for averts, but U.S. commentators say they have never heard of it skipping a whole performance before.
In an earlier statement, NBC said: 'We are live streaming every sporting event, all 32 sports and all 302 medals… The opening and closing ceremonies, however, are entertainment spectacles.
The BBC had introduced the segment by saying: 'Ladies and gentlemen, please pause silent for our memorial wall for friends and family who can't be here tonight.
The screens then showed a montage of images of spectators' loved ones who have passed away, including the late fathers of Danny Boyle, the show's director and London 2012 chief Lord Coe. Dancers dressed in red, representing the struggle between life and death, were picked out by a spotlight as the powerful vocals of Sande pierced the air with Abide With Me. This was followed by the procession of the 204 countries taking part and the lighting of the cauldron to signal the start of the Games.