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NBC Assures Gay Employees of Their Safety in Sochi as Network Shuns Coverage of Anti-Gay Laws

NBC is trying to reassure its gay employees about Olympic coverage and their safety, the AP reports:

NbcnewsThe network said in a memo that it finds Russia's law and the prejudices it represents to be "deeply troubling and diametrically opposed to everything that the Olympics symbolize.'' The note by Craig Robinson, NBC Universal's executive vice president and chief diversity officer, was sent Thursday to all company employees who have identified themselves as gay or lesbian.

...Robinson wrote in his memo that "your security is paramount and we will do everything possible to protect the rights, safety and well-being of our employees.''

..."The spirit of the Olympic Games is about unifying people and countries through the celebration of sport and it is our very strong hope that spirit prevails,'' Robinson wrote. "Until then, we have and will continue to cover these human rights violations on our broadcast and cable news networks as the story continues to evolve.''

NbcolympMeanwhile, Media Matters reports that NBC News has been virtually ignoring the controversy:

NBC News Has Made Almost No Mention Of Controversy Over Russia's Anti-Gay Law. According to a Media Matters analysis of NBC News' coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics, NBC News mentioned the controversy surrounding Russia's anti-gay law only once between June 10 - when the law passed - and August 5, despite devoting several segments to the upcoming event:

Media Matters searched news transcripts provided by Nexis and our internal archives for the words "Russia," "gay," "Sochi," and "Olympic!" between June 10 and August 5. Reruns and teases for upcoming segments were excluded. NBC News programs include Today, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press with David Gregory.

Segments were considered Olympic coverage if they focused on some aspect of the Olympic Games, including former and future Winter Olympians.

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Comments

  1. so that's how NBC will treat gay people?

    Posted by: litper | Aug 10, 2013 8:50:23 AM


  2. Please. It's all about the money. Can't threaten that.

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 10, 2013 8:53:25 AM


  3. You don't need the organizers or NBC for a boycott. You need the viewers. Us and our friends. I'll just not watch the Olympics this time. Easy.

    Posted by: galore | Aug 10, 2013 9:18:41 AM


  4. Sorry, NBC ... ignoring this problem won't make it go away.

    Posted by: DiatribesAndOvations | Aug 10, 2013 9:27:46 AM


  5. This is just a preview of how they are going to handle the issue throughout the games.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 10, 2013 10:23:42 AM


  6. So is NBC going to be banned from displaying their gay rainbow peacock logo in Russia during the Olympic games?

    Posted by: yvr man | Aug 10, 2013 10:31:36 AM


  7. Wow, the'll do "everything possible" ( nothing so far) and "hope" (cross your fingers) that the Olympic spirt prevails. If I was an NBC employee heading to Russia for the games I know that would make me feel soooooo much better.

    Posted by: e.c. | Aug 10, 2013 10:45:22 AM


  8. Does MSNBC count?

    Rachel's been mentioning it every night since her return from vacation? :/

    Posted by: Leo | Aug 10, 2013 10:45:45 AM


  9. "your security is paramount and we will do everything possible to protect the rights, safety and well-being of our employees.''

    In other words, we'll call your mother to let her know you've been arrested and detained.

    Posted by: jim | Aug 10, 2013 10:46:44 AM


  10. And really, who has a better track record protecting disenfranchised minorities than NBC? This is the network that canceled Star Trek and the Smothers Brothers for being too "edgy," refused to air a gay-friendly ad from the United Church of Christ in 2004 for being "too controversial," and censored Matthew Mitcham thanking his partner at the Beijing Olympics. The only thing they're worse at than protecting LGBT rights is picking successful shows.

    Posted by: Dan B | Aug 10, 2013 1:36:04 PM


  11. Why would they risk their TV ratings and sponsorships by reporting Olympic controversies? The Olympics are supposed to be about peace and goodwill, and that's how NBC is going to portray them.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 10, 2013 1:56:35 PM


  12. The network said in a memo that it finds Russia's law and the prejudices it represents to be "deeply troubling and diametrically opposed to everything that the Olympics symbolize.''

    "...But we will make a fortune off of Sochi anyway..."

    There, Mr.Craig Robinson; FTFY.

    Posted by: Dean | Aug 10, 2013 2:41:57 PM


  13. SHUN THE SPONSORS! NBC will get the message quickly!

    Posted by: louis | Aug 10, 2013 2:55:59 PM


  14. NBC made me gay. Oops!

    Posted by: kodiak | Aug 10, 2013 4:27:01 PM


  15. It's all and only ever been about the money as per usual. Human rights be damned.

    Posted by: Molc | Aug 10, 2013 8:46:26 PM


  16. NBC/Universal has an axe to grind. They paid over $775 million for broadcast rights. They're not about to jeopardize that investment.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Aug 10, 2013 10:29:46 PM


  17. Personally, I'll be pretty happy to watch straight allies snogging each other on the podiums, in a non-political sharing way, of course. On NBC.

    Posted by: rdiac | Aug 11, 2013 7:31:05 AM


  18. DO NOT SUPPORT ANY OF THE NBS OLYMPIC SPONSORS.....that will get their attention. So disappointed in NBC. Will not watch anymore.

    Posted by: Margaret Dawson | Aug 11, 2013 8:01:21 AM


  19. The safety of Americans in Sochi is NOT THE ISSUE; the torture and murder of Russia's LGBT citizens is the issue.

    That...and the censoring of the News.

    Games Out of Sochi: Vancouver 2014.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Aug 11, 2013 12:09:01 PM


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