London: American television network NBC was forced to apologize for showing an ill-timed advertisement featuring a monkey doing gymnastics, right after African origin Gabby Douglas won a gold medal for the US in gymnastics, sparking racism fears.
The network has apologized for the advertisement’s poor timing, saying ‘no offence was meant’.
The controversy ignited as sportscaster Bob Costas wrapped his analysis of Douglas’ unbelievable routine during the all-around competition last night.
“There are some African American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves: "Hey, I’d like to try that too." More from London in a moment,” The Daily Mail quoted Costas, as saying during his analysis.
The network then went to a commercial break, showing an advertisement featuring a monkey wearing a gymnastics uniform and performing a rings gymnastics event.
The unintended, but poorly timed advertisement was for Animal Practice, an upcoming NBC sitcom.
Angry viewers lashed out at the network on social media platforms like Twitter, accusing them of racism, with some calling it ``risky.``
“Gabby Douglas`` gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement,” a statement from the NBC read.
“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,” the statement added.