NBC Bodies In Motion, NBC removed a video from its website after receiving criticism for the way the video appears to objectify women. The video (seen above) is entitled “Bodies in Motion,” and it mostly focuses on specific female body parts. Unsuspecting viewers are greeted with a compilation of clips depicting female athletes often bouncing around in slow motion, with the shots frequently focusing on the women’s backsides and chests.
The tone for the video is set in the first few seconds when a track and field athlete (who looks like Lolo Jones) is shown stripping off her pants. Couple that with a musical bed in the background more suited for a soft-core adult movie, and the result is a video that seems designed to leave males with their tongues wagging rather than celebrate the athletic prowess of women at the Olympics.
The video, which was heavily criticized by sites like Jezebel and Think Progress, represents a gross departure from the human interest stories and family-friendly broadcast style NBC has embraced throughout the London Games. The realization that this was not the image they wanted to portray, coupled with the backlash they faced, probably led to the removal of the video (the URL now redirects to NBC Olympics’ homepage).
NBC has earned strong ratings throughout the Games, but their telecasts have not gone on without several hitches. The network ran a promo video that spoiled the outcome of a tape-delayed swim meet they were about to air; was criticized for an ill-timed monkey on rings commercial; aired an exposed breast on live TV during a water polo game; and even one of the local affiliates complained about the coverage. Some of those issues were minor or even accidental, but this video was not.