Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is NBC Stuck in the Closet?

UPDATE (8/27/08) - According to the Miami Herald, NBC President Gary Zenkel apologized over the lack of coverage on Matthew Mitcham's orientation, life story, and partner.

"We regret that we missed the opportunity to tell Matthew Mitcham's story. We apologize for this unintentional omission."

Originally posted on: 8/25/08

NBC, the network which covered the Beijing Olympics has failed to mention that gold winning medalist Mathew Mitcham is openly gay. They also neglected to show his partner who embraced him after he won. Mitcham's story is a powerful one, having previously struggled with depression and leaving the sport he has made an amazing comeback. NBC shows other peoples stories as well as their partners and loved ones. Is this homophobia on the part of NBC or are they just afraid of backlash from the right-wing groups?

To contact NBC click the link below and select the form "other"


Joie Mayfield said...

I was incredibly proud of Mitcham, and his accomplishments. I was so upset they barely mentioned him. Thanks for providing the link, I'll be sending some feedback.

Queers United said...

Thanks a million friend =)

T. R Xands said...

Huh, for some reason I never expected NBC to do something like that...or, I've always thought they were pretty honest, maybe I'm wrong now :/ I think they're probably just afraid of backlash, which would be really sad. If I get a chance I'll try to leave some feedback too.

Steve Krotz said...

I am certainly not one to defend NBC. They've demonstrated homophobia numerous times in the past and I always expressed my dissatisfaction thru emails to them.

In this case however, it may not be homophobia. My partner and I watched from beginning to end and were enthralled by Phelps and Mitcham. Both set numerous history-making records and will forever be known for that.

When Matthew stood on the platform for the first time, Bob Costas did talk briefly about his coming out story in The Sydney Morning Herald last May. I covered both Matthew's gold medal win and his Morning Herald story on my blog and, in this case, it may be that Costas' coverage and the camera coverage was in deference to Matthew's own comment when he was asked about the article in an interview with The Advocate.

He said: "I hadn’t planned to do it at all. It was just a question” -- which he answered by saying he lived with his partner of two years, Lachlan -- “and it went from there. I just want to be known as the Australian diver who did really well at the Olympics. It’s everybody else who thinks it’s special when homosexuality and elite sport go together.”

Again, I'm not defending NBC but I do think that Bob Costas has a pretty high degree of personal integrity and I would like to believe that he was respecting Matthew's wishes. At lease until I hear otherwise.

Laurie said...

Openly gay and HOT to boot.
I really don't watch NBC so, I guess
I'm in the unknow.


Bill Graber said...

Some one should ask Rachel Maddow about this... doesn't she work for NBC?

J said...

Yeah, Dr. Maddow just became the first openly lesbian woman to get her own news show with MSNBC starting 9/8/08. I'm more upset with NBC for whitewashing China during their coverage. They like lesbians O.K., I think!

Rob said...

NBC is the most pro-gay of the networks. I think this may have more to do with the restrictions China has put on them, or just a athletes sexuality is not that important.

Personally whether someone is gay or not, does not really concern me.

Post a Comment