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.”