Did NBC censor the only openly gay Olympian, Australian diver Mathew Mitcham? NBC denies it, but others are not so sure.
According to SPJ blogger Leo Laurence:
Moments after his dramatic upset in a surprise, gold-medal finish, Mitcham grabbed his mother and his gay partner, Lachlam Fletcher, thanking them for being the two most important peoploe in his life. NBC ignored it.
He won the 10-meter platform event at the Beijing Olympics, beating out the favorite Chinese athlete. And, “despite intensive coverage of other gold-medalists personal lives during the games, NBC failed to mention that Mitcham was Gay, or shoot footage of the diver’s partner cheering him on and congratulating him after his win,” wrote journalists Ann Turner and Mark Umbach.
The rest of the post, worth reading, details NBC’s denial that anyone was censored. According to an NBC spokesman, the network wasn’t even aware of the controversy, saying the network doesn’t have time to give biographical details about all athletes.
NBC’s response: The network doesn’t show such things “in every case . . . I could show you 500 athletes we didn’t show. We don’t show everyone. We don’t show every ceremony,” Hughes said.
Still, NBC did mention on the air that Mitcham had quit the sport for a while to deal with ‘personal issues’ in his life.
Curiouser and curiouser.