Akram Khan at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Which NBC Inexplicably Cut

Here is part of the Akram Khan piece from Friday evening’s opening night Olympic ceremony that NBC inexplicably cut from its American broadcast. Unfortunately, the quality of this video isn’t terrific – and the posters said they’d put up the latter parts of it later this week – but this is the only copy I could find right now on YouTube.

But why did NBC cut it from the US broadcast? Here’s a short BBC article on Khan’s disappointment and his explanation of the piece. The journalist interviewed NBC but the network still didn’t give a reason for its decision to air a Ryan Seacrest interview instead of Khan. Do they think Americans are too dense to appreciate high art? That we could only appreciate the names and faces we’d recognize from Hollywood? I wonder what else they denied us. I only knew to look for Khan’s piece from the UK-based dance bloggers in my Twitter feed, who tweeted about the performance as it happened, earlier in the day. Because of them, I was so excited to go home and watch it Friday night. Then I became so disappointed by NBC that now I really want to boycott the network. Thank god for the internet. It just makes you realize how biased and incomplete was the news we used to receive in this country.

Here is the Guardian’s Judith Mackrell on Khan’s work and what he added to the ceremony.


  1. I watched both the BBC and NBC and this was the only main thing they cut. They cut for commercials and so you missed little connections between the pieces and certain countries but this was the only main thing…

  2. Thanks for letting me know, Katrina. I understand the need to cut some things short for commercials but it’s so weird they cut this whole piece, and it’s the only thing cut in its entirety.

  3. Tonya, I checked out the article you mentioned. I can tell you exactly why they cut it. Out of American ignorance, they probably thought the piece was a “downer”, and didn’t have anything to do with the Olympics anyway, so they cut it. Their sensitivity to what other people and countries have suffered through was just not there.

    If only they had taken a real look at the piece, asked a Brit why it was there, and looked at the culture it came from, they surely would have had a change of heart. Or maybe not. We are, after all, talking about the American commercial media.


  4. Hannah Mouritsen

    As a former dancer, I quite appreciate your blog! I know I’m a stranger commenting, but I wanted to say that NBC cut out Darcey Bussell’s performance from the closing ceremonies as well, which I was a bit bummed about!

    There’s a story on it here:

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