During NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, a narrator described Soviet-era communism as a “pivotal experiment.” Many viewers objected to the reference and were quick to point out the mass suffering and death endured under communist leaders like Joseph Stalin.
Here’s the text of what viewers heard during NBC’s opening ceremony coverage, reportedly narrated by "Game of Thrones" actor Peter Dinklage:
The towering presence, the empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint. The revolution that birthed one of modern history's pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it's passion that endures. As a more reliable right to their collective heart. What they build in aspirations, lifted by imagination. What they craft, through the wonder of every last detail. How magical the fusion of sound and movement can be. How much a glass of distilled perfection and an overflowing table can matter. Discover the Russian people through these indelible signatures. Discover what we share with them through the games that open here tonight.
MRCTV has the video:
As Dinklage referenced "one of modern history's pivotal experiments," this is the image that viewers saw:
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, pivotal is defined as “of, relating to, or constituting a pivot” or “vitally important.”
We tracked some the outrage that ensued on Twitter Friday night:
I'm sure the 1,000 priests and nuns killed in Barcelona by communists during the Civil War were pleased to die for a "pivotal experiment."— William Newton (@wbdnewton) February 8, 2014
By "pivotal experiment" you mean "industrialized oppression and crushing out the lives and hopes of millions."— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 8, 2014
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this pivotal experiment!"— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) February 8, 2014
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