Sexist NBC Olympics Montage Might Give You "Motion" Sickness

Innocent footage of Ellen Sprunger (SUI) celebrating after winning the 200-meter women's heptathlon on August 3 was used by NBC as part of a video consisting of a suggestive slow-motion smorgasbord of female Olympians set to soft core porn music - a video that NBC has removed from their website.

While NBC has done nothing short of outdoing itself during its tape-delayed presentation of the London Olympics on television (and I’ll have more to say about that this weekend), the network has now sunk to new lows on the Internet, as well.

I’m not talking about the number of commercials that run on NBC’s website as you attempt to watch a live Olympics event, or perhaps the poor quality of the videos thereof. This involves a compilation of clips from athletes in action over the course of the last two weeks – each and every athlete just happening to be female.

And based on the particular musical selection for what is intended to be an athletic assemblage, you would think you were watching “Debbie Does Derbyshire.”

That’s right: the soundtrack is being likened to “soft core porn music.”

“Spiking a volleyball, jumping off the starting block, and everything in between,” reads the video description on NBCOlympics.com. “Check out these bodies in motion during the Olympic Games.”

Only the bodies were in slow motion – sometimes super slo-mo – and choregraphed by something that resembles Ron Jeremy’s cell phone ringtone.

And to say the content of the video, when combined with the soft core soundtrack, is sexually suggestive would be an understatement. For example: at the 0:54 point of the video, a Doris Schwaiger (AUT) volleyball spike, when stretched out to eight seconds, could lead the viewer to think that clip falls into the “everything in between” category.

The final scene of the two-minute video is the only one shown at normal speed: it’s an out-of-bounds volleyball spike that ends up making contact with the camera. I guess that’s what the geniuses who put this hodgepodge together consider the “money shot” of the video.

The only thing missing is a pop-up ad for a one-time Olympics sponsor – Kleenex.

Based on this description, you’re either so outraged or so curious about the video that you want to watch for yourself.

Well, you won’t be able to do so on NBCOlympics.com. Today, NBC immobilized this “Bodies In Motion” video. If you go to their original link to the video, you are greeted with the following message: “The page was not found or there was an error. You will be redirected in a few seconds to the homepage. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

That’s funny – people had no trouble finding the page on Thursday.

I guess there certainly was an error – an error in judgment.

Especially after multiple instances of the exposure of female athletes’ breasts appearing on NBC networks’ air during this Olympiad, NBC does not need to top it with a video that effectively takes great athletes like Jessica Zelinka (CAN) and Zara Dampney (GBR) and portrays them as sex objects – or worse.

I don’t think this is what Tim Berners-Lee would have in mind if he were watching NBC’s coverage of the Olympics this year.

Meanwhile, you can still look at a “Bodies In Motion” video on NBCOlympics.com devoted to beach volleyball – but it looks more like a jolly gang bang in comparison – and incidentally, the only males in this video are fans in the stands.

Cheer up, ladies: just today, they posted this video featuring male athletes participating in the decathlon. Happy now?

There’s no sugarcoating this. The only way anyone offended by the “Soft Core Bodies In Motion” fiasco is if NBC issues an apology – which wouldn’t be the first time they have done so during this Olympic fortnight. Clearly, the demand for an apology is there, if NBC has been pressured by enough anger in the blogosphere alone to take the video down.

Sorry, but for NBC to upload this sexist tripe to their website in the first place, only to yank it and act like “the page was not found or there was an error,” that, my friends, is the ultimate #NBCFail.

Let’s hope the frat boys in NBC’s Olympics video department spare us an edition of “Bodies In Motion” titled “Women’s Individual Medleys.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s