NBC Has Yet More Explaining to Do After Placement of Monkey Promo Bothers Some Viewers

Aug 3, 2012  •  Post A Comment

NBC has had to endure plenty of criticism over its Olympics coverage, and the floodgates opened again after an unfortunately timed promo for a new series aired Thursday night.

According to The Hollywood Reporter: “Immediately after NBC finished its broadcast of American gymnast Gabby Douglas’ gold medal-winning performance on Thursday, the network cut to a promo spot for one of its new prime-time shows, ‘Animal Practice.’

“The promo featured the show’s star monkey, Crystal, competing on gymnastics rings — which has drawn criticism on Twitter, as broadcaster Bob Costas had just been speaking of the historical significance of Douglas becoming the first African American woman to win the event.”

The promo was also criticized in the media, the report notes, with Tod Robberson, writing in the Dallas Morning News, calling it "supremely thoughtless and undoubtedly insulting to lots of viewers."

NBC gave a statement to THR on the matter today, denying that the incident carried any racial significance.

The network said in the statement: "Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement. This spot promoting Animal Practice, which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended."

The network reportedly also explained that it chose to promote “Animal Practice,” a family-friendly show, in that spot because gymnastics, along with the swimming aired Thursday night, was expected to deliver a family audience.

As reported previously, NBC has drawn criticism for other Olympics-related blunders, often involving tape delay and revealing results before events air.


  1. OK, believe it or not, I’m in NBC’s corner on this one. GET OVER IT PEOPLE. It’s just a promo, that was scheduled on the program log a couple days in advance. It doesn’t mean anything…
    To me, it’s historically embarassing that in 2012 media still feel compelled to qualify people with a hyphen, ala “….-American”. Aren’t they magnanimous!

  2. I live in Texas, and Caucasians are actually a minority here. Do I get to refer to myself as a Caucasian-American?
    Like my fellow hippie said, GET OVER IT ALREADY.

  3. I’m with you on this – lighten up, people. It’s a promo for a show that features a monkey – she’s been on press tours and everything all summer. Any level-headed non-racist knows there was absolutely no malicious intent on NBC’s part. Doesn’t help that the media is fueling the fire. Shame on you Tod Robberson and Dallas Morning News.

  4. Until I read this story, I never gave it a thought and certainly did not relate that commercial to Gabby. I had already seen that commercial over several days. Can’t believe a stink is being made by anybody over this.

  5. I’m seriously more worried about those who think that NBC meant something with the ad. It’s been airing for days prior to this and I remember seeing this after the coverage of the Men’s team gymnastic final after some Chinese athletes performed. Nobody complained then.

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