NBC Won't Say If It Will Acknowledge China's Human Rights Atrocities During Beijing Winter Olympics
When the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics kicks off in February, the Faustian bargain NBC made with China and the International Olympic Committee will finally come due. Will the network acknowledge the big, red elephant in the room, or will it bury some of the world’s worst human rights atrocities under puff pieces and more ice dancing?
Anyone with a passing familiarity with how Hollywood works these days should already know the answer. NBCUniversal executives will think twice before they allow the network to insult a regime whose blessing was necessary to build its latest Universal Studios theme park at a reported cost of $8 billion.
The Beijing Games represent NBC’s first broadcast in its $7.75 billion extension deal to televise the Olympics in the U.S. through 2032 — a major investment and cash cow for the network. (NBC reportedly sold $1.25 billion in ads for the Tokyo Summer Games.) The company has become so sensitive to China’s feelings that John Cena had to issue a groveling apology to the Chinese people for correctly calling Taiwan a country while promoting Universal’s F9.
To sum up the situation: a non-diverse Golden Globes? NBC cancels the broadcast. Genocide and human rights atrocities? NBC moves full-steam ahead (and is already running TV ads to promote the event).
Breitbart News reached out to Comcast-owned NBCUniversal with a list of questions about its planned Beijing Olympics coverage, including whether or not the network will address China’s acts of genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and the regime’s renewed belligerence toward Taiwan.
NBCUniversal had not responded to any of the questions by the time this story was published. Here are the eight questions Breitbart News sent to the company.
(1) Does NBC Sports plan on addressing China’s acts of genocide and human rights atrocities during its Olympics coverage?
(2) How will NBC Sports identify athletes from Taiwan?
(3) Does NBC Sports plan on addressing China’s claims to Taiwan during its Olympics coverage?
(4) Does NBC Sports plan on addressing China’s role in the coronavirus pandemic during its Olympics coverage?
(5) Will NBC News devote any time to the above issues during the Olympics?
(6) Has the IOC or China put any restrictions on NBC’s coverage?
(7) What percentage of NBCUniversal’s annual revenue comes from China?
(8) How much advertising revenue does NBC expect to make from the Beijing Games?
In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in Dharmsala, India. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
NBC has already faced Congressional criticism for its role in the Winter Games, with Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) blasting the network earlier this year.
“This American network continues to turn a blind eye to Communist China’s atrocities when it comes to allowing Beijing to host the 2022 Olympic Games, apparently preferring instead to give General Secretary Xi a platform to whitewash his horrific crimes with the grand spectacle of the 2022 Olympic Games,” he said in a statement.
NBCUniversal’s head of government affairs, Phil Tahtakran, told the senator that “refusing to air the Games to a U.S. audience would only hurt Americans” and would deprive viewers at home of the “opportunity to cheer on and take pride in the athletes who represent our country.”
(FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Chinese state media has warned the world against opposing Beijing.
“If any country is encouraged by extremist forces to take concrete actions to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, China will definitely retaliate fiercely,” China’s Global Times said in an op-ed published in February. “China certainly has the resources and means to do that.”
Earlier this year, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) said it’s wrong to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in China while China is committing genocide. The world rewarding China with such a prestigious event, the Congressman said, “in some ways, worse than” holding the 1936 Olympics in Germany.
This won’t be NBC’s first time broadcasting the “Genocide Games.”
Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics amid calls for a boycott over China’s role in arming Sudan in its genocide in Darfur. The Games became so controversial that Steven Spielberg, who was brought on as an artistic adviser, had to bow out.
In the 14 years since, China has become the largest movie market in the world, surpassing the U.S. box office with the help of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the top two grossing movies worldwide are both from China. Universal’s top grossing movie, F9, has made more money in China than any other country.
NBC has already lined up commercials for the Beijing Games. The network told The Hollywood Reporter in September that ads are “virtually sold out.” Among the expected ad buyers are Coca-Cola, Airbnb, and Intel — all of which are official Olympics corporate sponsors.
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