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Seven Network apologises for Rio Olympic Games Comments

altIn a letter to the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), the Seven Network has apologised for the comments made by its sports commentators during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, linking the ancient Olympic champion Phillip II with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The GCM immediately wrote to the Seven Network and demanded a retraction.

“Please accept our apologies if those comments caused you offence. We acknowledge it was inappropriate to link Phillip II with FYROM,” the Seven Network states in its letter. “Our commentary team was unaware of the political and cultural sensitives regarding the use of the term Macedonia… It was not our intention to cause any offence… We have brought your comments to the attention of relevant persons at the Seven Network, to aid their understanding of this issue for future broadcasts.”

Channel 7’s coverage of the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games became a point of anger for Greek communities when it chose to incorrectly appropriate history and the present day political reality in an irreverent piece of commentary.
“The controversial contemporary identity of FYROM is not for Mr McAvaney and Mr Gaze to decide. It is not for them, their producing team or the network that they are all employed at to decide to appropriate Hellenic history in such a flippant manner,” said GCM’s president Bill Papastergiadis.
In its letter addressed to the GCM president, the Seven Network states:

“Thank you for contacting the Seven Network to give feedback on our telecast of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

You have raised issue with our telecast, on the basis that commentators incorrectly linked ancient Olympic champion Phillip II to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

First, please accept our apologies if those comments caused you offence. We acknowledge it was inappropriate to link Phillip II with FYROM.

Our commentary team was unaware of the political and cultural sensitives regarding the use of the term Macedonia and made a very unfortunate error in conflating FYROM with ancient Macedonia. It was not our intention to cause any offence.

We have brought your comments to the attention of relevant persons at the Seven Network, to aid their understanding of this issue for future broadcasts.

Again, please accept our apologies and thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.

We trust this has addressed your concerns, and we hope you continue to enjoy programming on the Seven network.

This is a unique opportunity to commemorate a great historical figure and to celebrate his vision of multiculturalism and harmony, a vision that is more relevant than ever to our own contemporary society.”

 
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