Allegations Against Gold Medal Winner at Olympics: A Problem for NBC?

Feb 14, 2018  •  Post A Comment

The first Olympics of the #MeToo era is producing some awkward moments during NBC’s coverage of the PeongChang Winter Games.

“The sexual misconduct allegations against snowboarder Shaun White that resurfaced after he won gold surely caused discomfort at NBC,” veteran TV writer David Bauder reports for the AP, noting: “A lawsuit by the female former drummer in White’s rock band accusing him of crude behavior was settled last May.”

Bauder quotes Christine Brennan in USA Today writing: “Why in the world aren’t we talking about this?”

The AP piece notes: “White was asked about it during a Wednesday news conference in which no female journalists were called upon, and said he didn’t want to talk about ‘gossip.’ His hole dug deeper, it fell to the ‘Today’ show’s Savannah Guthrie — whose former co-host, Matt Lauer, was dismissed in November because of an improper workplace relationship — to ask more. She did, twice, prefacing one question by saying, ‘I take no pleasure in asking it.’”

Bauder adds: “During a pre-taped interview that aired during Tuesday night’s Olympic coverage, NBC’s Mike Tirico asked White about coming back from his loss in Sochi and an injury he suffered in New Zealand, but the sexual misconduct case never came up. Perhaps it would remind viewers of Tirico’s own history — he was suspended for three months in the early 1990s while at ESPN — and that’s clearly something NBC wants in the rear-view mirror.”


  1. Is it necessary to ask everyone about every issue in their past if the issue has been resolved between the accused and the accuser? And is it now required to ask about these old issues in every interview? I would ask Christine Brennan why in the world do we need to talk about this? It is a different issue if there is an open case being litigated or if accusations have been made and haven’t been responded to by the accused. But in this incident the case has been closed and I would ask what is the point of raising this? Is there an intention to have his gold medal taken away because of this accusation? Is it expected he will return it out of some sense of guilt? Should he be kicked off the Olympic team? What is expected by going down this route of questioning at this time under these circumstances?

  2. More entertaining is that White was the first gold medal winning snowboarder during these Olympics NOT to drop an F bomb on live TV; NBC really needs a delay.

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