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:
#nbc racist I just saw Gab's make history.And I'm proud that Black and White Americans agree that the grinning monkey commercial was wrong.
NBC sends a blatantly racist message by playing that monkey doing gymnastics commercial after Gabby Douglas' gets gold! Glad others noticed
Umm what's with the monkey commercial after Gaby's win? Racist much NBC?
Hey @nbc way to cut from Costas talking about African-American gymnasts to a commercial of a monkey doing gymnastics. Are you kidding me?
Disgusted at #nbc showing Animal Practice with monkey right after Gabby wins her gold for All-Around gymnast. Bad timing and racist!
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?