Olympic gymnastic gold medalist Gabby Douglas confirmed the obvious on Thursday night: black girls can do anything they want, including dominating an all-around Olympic gymnastics competition. What’s not as evident is how negligent NBC is when it comes to its commercial programing.

With over five hours to prepare itself for the American primetime replay of Thursday’s historic individual gymnastic competition, NBC producers felt airing a teaser for an upcoming show, Animal Practice, which featured a monkey on gymnastic rings, was the appropriate segue after anchor Bob Costas’ commentary about the significance of Gabby’s win to young black girlss.

Once the outcry from upset viewers came flooding into NBC headquarters, the spot was quickly pulled and the media giant released this statement:

“Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement,” NBC Universal spokeswoman Liz Fischer said. “The 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.”

Considering the sordid history of large media and entertainment outlets disrespecting black Americans with comparisons to the wide spectrum of animals — especially primates of all kinds such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees — someone should’ve checked to make sure that promotional ad didn’t run after a feature of a black Olympian who already has a contentious nickname “flying squirrel” and who has had asinine attacks on her hair.

Check out the Costas’ segue into the promo commercial below and tell us what you think …

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  1. It’s in poor taste plain and simple

  2. Seriously? They have shown this promo for the new sitcom COUNTLESS times during the Olympics. Gabby doesn’t do the iron rings… women don’t. It’s a cute male monkey in a new sitcom and it was just bad timing that it showed after the report on Gabby.

  3. This is insensitive to say the least and deplorable at its worst. Personally, I agree with the author in saying that this ad is negligent. Everyone of those producers are somewhere in the 35 and older range and should know the cultural and political significance of blacks and apes. Even worse, this is still very prevalent in athletics today. In soccer matches you have bananas still thrown on the pitch towards black players. It happens so much many black players boycott certain arenas.

    Just because you are not savvy enough of a viewer or don’t care if black people are made fun of doesn’t mean things like this are hogwash or hypersensitivity on behalf of blacks. All these programs are detailed and planned to the inch and for them to not know is a sad commentary on America’s ability to talk back at subtle and oppressive images

    I’m not an ape nor do I associate Gabby with an ape but someone does.

  4. Don't Believe the Hype

    If it was spontaneous I would have let it slide but THIS IS TV- they know every time of every ad lol gtfoh

  5. I thought that was in extremely bad taste. I would like those of you of conscience to respond by our not interacting with any of the sponsors. Let us intelligently respond.

  6. Unfortunate

  7. Of ALL the time they had to get it this together, you pick a monkey in Gymnastics clothes promo. I can see a monkey and I’d have been alright, but MONKEY IN GYMNASTICS. I guess I’m old enough to be pissed.

  8. honestly people are reaching I didn’t even connect the two when I saw the commercial…NBC is like one of the last stations you can call racist here in new york the other day I was so proud to see all the anchors including weather and sports except for 1 was black

  9. Always a hidden message or insult…….

  10. Ms. Liz Fischer knew exactly what she was doing; and she had that particular gym monkey put in that spot. If Gabby had not won, it would have played–no harm. If she did win, then they got her! It’s covert racism done in a way they will not be caught, or so they thought.

    Last week, at a local baseball game, a banana was thrown at a Black baseball player–an overt and obvious slur.

  11. I am SO TIRED of the racism – both covert and overt, individual and institutional – of White people.

  12. Gretchen R Waller

    There are thousands of species of animals, whey feature a monkey at all? C’mon NBC!

  13. Any intelligent person, black or white knows that monkeys have white skin with straight hair all over their bodies. They have very flat rear ends and wide thin lips. The last time I checked; these are not the physical traits of a Black person.

    • @Skye: Uhmm I am black and have a flat rear end and thin lips. Africa is a big continent and everyone on it doesn’t look alike or have thin features. Whether monkeys is a good comparison or not, it is used…you are insulting in your unclever attempt at cheekiness.

  14. This was just insensitive and disrespectful of NBC. They had enough time to edit and prepare the segment so that commercial did not have to be played at the time. Had the Olympic Moment been live, then you could have some leeway. NBC needs to apologize and stop trying to make an excuse.

  15. I do not picture NBC showing that monkey commercial if that was a white gymnast winning the gold medal in the individual all-around.

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