The broadcast company responsible for delivering images/video from the Winter Olympics to the world at large earned some undesired scorn this week after it tastelessly chose to air footage of a ice dancer’s nipple accidentally being exposed.
During French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis performance alongside partner Guillaume Cizeron at the “Short Dance” Monday, her halter-top dress came unfasted, causing her left nipple to briefly be exposed, according to USA Today.
Not only did the Olympic Broadcasting Services keep its cameras rolling during the embarrassing mishap, but it also ran a slow-motion kickback that included “shots of Papadakis’ partially-exposed breast and her nipple, and was seen both on the big screen in the Gangneung Ice Arena and around the world.”
When questioned about this by USA Today, OBS claimed it followed its “standard transmission of replays as we have with every other athlete and this includes the finale of the performance.”
That answer was not acceptable to USA Today sports contributor Martin Rogers.
“Not good enough, guys,” he opined. “A staple part of solid broadcasting coverage is the ability to react to the unexpected. If a fan had slid onto the ice carrying an offensive banner filled with profanity, would they have shown that too, in slow-mo, just because that’s how they typically do it?”
Luckily for Papadakis, at least one country took swift action to spare her any further embarrassment: the very exceptional United States.
“Once a competitor’s brief wardrobe issue became evident, we purposely used wider camera shots and carefully selected replays to keep the issue obscured. We have edited the video for all television encores and online replays,” NBC News, which holds rights to the Winter Olympic Games, said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Well done. The same cannot be said of the Canadian Broadcasting Company, which aired the footage live, according to the Toronto Metro.
The AP added that “Papadakis was nearly in tears as she approached reporters after the routine.”
“It was pretty distracting, kind of my worst nightmare happening at the Olympics,” she said.
Nevertheless, she and her partner eventually wound up winning silver early Tuesday morning, as reported by Yahoo News, and reportedly crying tears of joy afterward.
All is well that ends well, I suppose.
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