On Thursday, Gabby Douglas took home the gold medal in the women's all-around gymnastics competition. It was an historic victory, not least of which because Douglas became not only the first African-American woman to win the gold, but the first woman of color to ever medal in the individual competition for America. Unfortunately, her moment in prime time was followed by some less-than-ideal imagery.
Right after NBC aired footage of Douglas receiving her gold medal, Bob Costas had some inspiring words for aspiring African-American gymnasts and Olympians. It would have been far more poignant if they hadn't then immediately cut to a commercial for their new show Animal Practice, featuring a gymnast monkey.
Not NBC's finest moment, certainly. But in their defense, they did have hours and hours to ensure that this would not happen. You know, because all of their prime-time stuff airs in tape delay in every time zone. You may have heard about that.
Hat-tip to Timothy Burke at Deadspin.
Update: NBC issued a statement on Friday explaining there were no racial overtones intended. From The Hollywood Reporter:
"Gabby Douglas' gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement. This spot promoting Animal Practice, which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended."