After clinching the gold medal in the womens’ gymnastics all-around event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Gabby Douglas has become an overnight sensation.
The cute-as-a-button, humble 16-year-old from Virginia won the hearts and minds of seemingly everyone with her conquest over Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova. Everyone, that is, except the media.
There have been more than a few eyebrow-raising moments surrounding coverage of Gabby’s achievements in London in the past few days. It starts with Express, a metro publication published by The Washington Post.
The paper caught flack for running a photo of the gold medal winning womens’ gymnastics with Gabby facing away from the camera in the background, instead of a shot featuring all five women prominently.
SheSoMajor.com encapsulated some of the outrage people expressed on Twitter from the publication’s decision:
“Hey @ExpressNightOut….Care to explain why you chose to use a picture of the Women’s Team that OMITTED GABBY DOUGLAS? Someone is missing. There isn’t even a mention of Gabby Douglas’ name in the article,” wrote @TheJazzyBelle
This is how Express responded:
Here’s the cover the paper is referring to:
Did you catch that “prominent feature” they were talking about?
There’s Gabby, in the top right, upside down with her face covered and her name not mentioned anywhere. Yes, that’s totally giving Gabby the spotlight she deserves!
Meanwhile, on the official London 2012 site, check out which athlete’s face is missing from the right column:
And here’s a photo that ESPN ran of Gabby on its Facebook page:
Can somebody put a flash on Gabby’s face so we can actually see her? Why is she bathed in shadow like that? Did these photographers not learn a thing about lighting black people?
The last and final insult came last night from NBC itself.
After Gabby emerged victorious from the womens’ all-around event, NBC cut to commercial break. The commercial they aired was for its new show Animal Practice and it featured a monkey goofily doing a gymnastics routine.
You can’t make this kind of fail and shade up.
Check out NBC’s offensive monkey ad below:
Compare Gabby’s treatment to the practically sanctified treatment Saint Michael Phelps is getting. Don’t our black Olympians deserve the same respect and prominence?
Media, we’ve got our eyes on you.
Check yourselves before you wreck yourselves.