Choreographer Akram Khan informed of NBC cutting his Opening Ceremony performance / First reactions

Byline – Isabel Garcia and Hope Janelle Berninghausen
4:00 p.m., London

Our Olympic team attended a press conference at the London Media Centre this afternoon featuring Olympic Opening ceremony collaborator Akram Khan and his producer Farooq Chaudhry, moderated by BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob.

During the conference a member of the audience, Jason, from the London Media Centre, asked for Khan’s response to NBC’s decision to omit his performance from the broadcast. As you can see in this exclusive video above, Khan is just being informed. Watch his reaction on the right side of the screen (approximately 12 seconds into the video).

About 11 seconds later (00:23), watch producer Farooq Chaudhry on the left hand side as he prepares to inform the room that he already knew of the news. As we find out moments later, Chaudhry had chosen to wait to share the information with Khan.

The press conference quickly picked back up after a noticeable moment of silence. A few questions later, audience member Andy, from Culture of the Olympics Magazine, attempts to ease Kahn’s shock [about NBC] by informing him that “hashtag” (#) NBCfail was trending on Twitter as the Opening Ceremonies were wrapping up in the United States.

As the conference was about to end, Nicholas Wolaver (London Media Centre) asked Khan to once again reflect on NBC’s decision. Khan, still surprised and seemingly frustrated, tried to understand the reasoning behind NBC’s choice. Chaudhry later joined in the speculation, defending Khan’s work and their business, “Akram Khan Company”, which they both founded.

NBC released several statements regarding their telecast decisions to cut certain performances out of their broadcast of the Opening Ceremony. No statement has yet been issued to Akram Khan, directly, explaining their actions.

NBC STATEMENTS: — “We are live streaming every sporting event, all 32 sports, and 302 medals… It is never our intent to live stream the Opening Ceremony or Closing Ceremony. They are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them.” — “We will be providing clips and highlights of each ceremony online so viewers know what to look forward to in primetime on NBC.” “Our program is tailored for the U.S. television audience. It’s a credit to [opening ceremony producer] Danny Boyle that it required so little editing.”