The Best Tweets About Ch 7’s Casually Racist, Wikipedia Researched, Opening Ceremony Commentary

Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Channel 7 Commentary

Twitter is absolutely roasting TF out of Channel 7’s cringeworthy commentary of the Opening Ceremony at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, which seemed to include mentions of casual racism, human rights abuses, and colonisation, and the bare minimum levels of Wikipedia research. Let’s get into it.

Last night, Channel 7’s Opening Ceremony coverage was hosted by sports broadcaster Bruce McAvaney, Better Homes and Gardens host Johanna Griggs, Aussie sports presenter Hamish McLachlan, and unproblematic fave, Insight host, and Japanese-Australian Kumi Taguchi. But, contrary to them recruiting an actual Japanese person for the program, the four-hour event was dominated by Bruce and Johanna’s absolutely cooked and casually racist comments of countries besides our own.

As GetUp’s Alex McKinnon put it best early into the night: “God save the Channel 7 commentary team tasked with speaking about a non-white culture for hours.” God save, indeed.

When the Palestinian team entered the stadium, the commentators said: “these are a people who have known many troubled times.”

Gee, Channel 7, you think? Even with Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitting that he and the Federal Government were partially at fault for our botched vaccine rollout, this is still the understatement of the year. Coincidentally, when the Israeli team walked on, Johanna made reference to “Iraq-related wars.”

When it came to the UAE team, Channel 7’s prestigious sports reporters said that the country has “lots of tall buildings and camels that run fast.”

I—You don’t even need Google for that one, folks.

In true embarrassingly White Australian fashion, when the Indonesian team entered the stadium, Channel 7’s commentators made an allusion to Australia’s weird obsession with Bali, instead of anything remotely important about the country or, IDK, the team of athletes competing?

“A lot of Australians have a great love affair for Indonesia, particularly Bali,” they said, per Twitter user Mark Gottlieb.

When Team Virgin Islands came on, the Aussie commentators seemingly joked that the United States buying the country from Denmark was “a pretty good buy.” It’s the casual racism and positive spin on colonialism for me.

Oh and let’s take a moment to take in this absurd exchange about Tajikstanian athlete Dilshod Nazarov:

During the Chinese team’s appearance, Johanna and Bruce also brought up how the country has been banned from competing in Olympic swimming.

“China is no longer such a powerhouse in swimming,” said one of them.

“There’s a reason for that,” added the other.

Others on Twitter claim that the Better Homes & Gardens host called the African teams’ uniforms “costumes.” Hugely problematic if true.

Keep reading for the best Twitter reactions to Channel 7’s cooked commentary of the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games we could find.

Look, the only explanation to all this that makes somewhat sense is that either Channel 7’s commentators were absolutely on something last night, or they were hastily Googling the countries as they entered the arena. But, after a now-deleted racist social media post about England’s Black football players and claims they tried to get actual racist goblin Katie Hopkins for this year’s Big Brother VIP, it reallyyy doesn’t paint an inclusive picture for the media network.

As host of ABC’s China, If You’re Listening, Matt Bevan joked: “Now look folks, it’s not fair to criticise the Channel 7 commentators for their coverage of the athletes parade. They only have four years to prepare and also it’s the same countries as last time, so they have no choice but to adlib with Wikipedia open on their phone.

“It’s unfortunate that there’s no possible way of finding out any facts about Kyrgyzstan until the team are physically in front of you, but that’s just the way it is.”

Anyway, the takeaway of this story: if you’re going to offer live commentary on an international event featured basically every country under the sun, maybe do your research. Y’know, beyond the opening paragraph of Wikipedia pages.