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Al Michaels has apologized for a joke he made during NBC’s Sunday Night Football that referenced Harvey Weinstein.
During the third quarter of the game between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos, Michaels compared the Giants to the disgraced movie mogul.
“I mean, let’s face it. The Giants are coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein and they’re up 14 points,” he said, referencing recent season-ending injuries to three players along with another player’s suspension.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) October 16, 2017
Many Twitter users — including fellow sports broadcasters, reporters and viewers — were quick to criticize the veteran broadcaster.
“Al Michaels is probably the best play-by-play guy in history. But boy…that was a big, big lapse in judgment,” wrote The Bleacher Report‘s Doug Farrar.
Added the Tucson Star‘s Zack Rosenblatt: “Al Michaels just tried making a Harvey Weinstein joke. It didn’t work.”
Michaels later apologized during the live broadcast for his comment, saying: “Sorry I made a reference earlier. I tried to be a little flip about somebody obviously very much in the news all over the country. It was not meant in that manner. So my apologies, and we will just leave it at that.”
Al Michaels’ apology for Weinstein joke pic.twitter.com/QrIPTb6l2X
— That Dude (@cjzer0) October 16, 2017
Michaels’ comment comes the same day that James Corden apologized for jokes he made about Weinstein at Friday night’s amfAR gala in Los Angeles.
Corden began by joking, “Right here in L.A., it’s so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.” After hearing the mixed response, he added, “I don’t know whether that groan was that you like that joke or you don’t like that joke. If you don’t like that joke, you should probably leave now.”
On Sunday, he tweeted: “To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behavior, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention.”
Meanwhile, it’s been a tough week for NBCUniversal. Last week, NBC’s Saturday Night Live took some heat when it was reported that the show had shelved Weinstein jokes last minute ahead of Saturday’s episode and when asked why, creator Lorne Michaels said, “It’s a New York thing.” The New York Times explained the meaning behind Michaels’ comment via an anonymous source, who claimed the executive producer meant that at the time, Weinstein was still only a New York media story. The show ultimately ended up addressing the scandal in Saturday night’s episode.
The NBC News division came under fire when it was revealed that senior execs passed on the Weinstein story that Ronan Farrow ultimately ran in the New Yorker.
And NBC also found itself a target of President Trump last week, when he threatened to revoke the company’s broadcast license after a report claimed to explain why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson allegedly called the president a “moron.” During the opening of SNL this week, the licensing threat was absent from the list of Trump’s targets.
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