NBC skips terror victim tribute during Opening Ceremonies

By Matt Brooks

NBC’s tape-delayed, pre-packaged, force-fed prime time presentation of the 2012 London Games has become a bigger topic for debate than the U.S. swim coach’s decision to tap Ryan Lochte as Sunday’s 4×100 freestyle relay anchor or Spain’s uniform choice.

And the latest revelation about the network’s decision to editorialize Friday’s Opening Ceremonies is sure to add fuel to the fire.

olympic mascots

Gallery: Click on the above image to see highlights from Friday’s Opening Ceremonies.

While much of the global audience was watching a moving tribute to the victims of the 2005 terrorist bombings in London that killed 52 civilians, NBC’s viewers were treated to a Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps.

In response to heavy criticism over its decision not to air the segment, NBC Sports spokesman said, “Our program is tailored for the U.S. television audience. It’s a credit to (ceremony director) Danny Boyle that it required so little editing.”

Londoner Akram Khan choreographed and danced in the tribute, during which spectators were asked to display photos of loved ones who could not be in attendance while a hymn described in the program as an “honest expression of the fear of approaching death” played throughout the Olympic Stadium.

“I am disappointed,” Khan told the Associated Press. “I am really sad that I couldn’t show the work in America, and that really upsets me, because I don’t think it’s any more or less than the other pieces. It brings to mind the question … that maybe it’s too truthful.”

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