NBC Cuts Anti-Discrimination Remarks From Sochi Opening Ceremony Speech

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 8 2014 12:32 PM

NBC Cuts Anti-Discrimination Remarks From Sochi Opening Ceremony Speech

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks during the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Photo by Jung Yeon-Je - Pool/Getty Images

Complaining about NBC’s edits during its tape-delayed Olympics broadcast has become a sport in itself (#NBCFail quickly became a trending topic Friday). Many were upset, for example, that the network cut out  the performance by pop group t.A.T.u. from its broadcast of the Olympics opening ceremony. But there was one edit from the opening ceremony that seemed particularly strange. The network cut out a part from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach’s speech that talked against discrimination. Deadspin caught the fact that NBC left out a key part of Bach’s statements from the broadcast, a surprising edit considering how much attention Russia’s anti-gay laws have received in the run-up to the Olympics.

“It is possible—even as competitors—to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason,” read one portion of the speech that NBC edited out of the ceremony.

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NBC said the edit was simply a time issue. "IOC’s President was edited for time, as were other speeches, but his message got across very clearly,” NBC said in a statement, according to NPR’s David Folkenflik.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.