WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign says that NBCUniversal — which has the broadcast rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — has a “responsibility to expose” anti-LGBT laws in the country.
After describing the new law banning “propaganda” about LGBT people in Russia that was signed into law this June, HRC president Chad Griffin wrote to NBCUniversal chief executive officer Stephen Burke, “NBCUniversal … has a unique opportunity — and a responsibility — to expose this inhumane and unjust law to the millions of American viewers who will tune in to watch the Games.”
The move comes as NBC is about to unveil its coverage plans for the Olympics on Saturday at the Television Critics Association meeting this week in Los Angeles and as other LGBT activists have called for a boycott of the games.
“You no doubt agree that it wouldn’t be right to air the opening ceremonies, which is an hours-long advertisement for the host country, without acknowledging that a whole segment of the Russian population — not to mention foreign athletes and visitors — can be jailed for an immutable aspect of their identity,” Griffin wrote.
Although HRC hasn’t formally taken a position on the boycott, Wednesday’s letter to NBCUniversal is a strong sign that HRC is making preparations to address the presentation of the games and not just the pre-games boycott discussion.