NBC Airs Racist or Unfortunately Timed Monkey Gymnast Promo After Gabby Douglas Wins Gold

    August 3, 2012
    Josh Wolford

Deliberate racism? Unfortunate timing? Public overreaction? Simple FAIL?

People are debating those questions this morning after a promo for the new NBC show Animal Practice ran immediately following Bob Costas’ lead out to Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas’ historic gold medal win.

The promo shows a monkey performing gymnastics on the ring apparatus.

Nevermind the fact that the promo has been running nonstop on NBC during the Games, or the fact that the rings aren’t even a women’s apparatus – people have called racism on the network.

Check out the transition for yourself:

As you would expect, this is being fueled mostly by Twitter users:

It’s no surprise that this has prompted such a backlash – it is some rather striking imagery to juxtapose. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone at NBC did this deliberately, unless it was an underling who thought they would try to be funny (and fail, miserably). Since that promo has been running for days on NBC prior to Douglas’ gold medal win, it’s likely just a simple coincidence – and people seeing racism where there isn’t any.

Then again, as a major network, NBC has to be able to predict that things like this, however innocent, can look really really bad. They have to be able to catch things like this before they happen. I mean, they’re already under so much fire for their broadcasting choices regarding the Games in general. This new flap just amplifies peoples’ anger.

What do you think?