WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel urging them, once again, to condemn oppression and stand for human dignity by declining to air the 2022 Olympic Games unless they are moved out of Communist China. Senator Scott’s letter follows his previous letters (HERE and HERE) to NBC requesting they stand up for human rights and NBCUniversal’s decision to not air the 2022 Golden Globe Awards ceremony due to concerns about a lack of diversity among the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Read the Senator’s letter HERE or below.
May 19, 2021
Mr. Jeff Shell
Chief Executive Officer
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
Dear Mr. Shell and Mr. Zenkel:
It came to my attention last week that NBCUniversal decided it would not air the 2022 Golden Globe Awards ceremony due to concerns about a lack of diversity among the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. While many were surprised by this decision given NBC’s decades-long tradition of airing the awards program, I see this as an opportunity for your company to take a real stand in support of human rights. NBCUniversal has a unique opportunity in 2022 to condemn oppression and stand for human dignity by declining to air the 2022 Olympic Games unless they are moved out of Communist China. I urge you to immediately do so.
In the northwestern province of Xinjiang, the Chinese Communist Party has established a vast network of concentration camps to imprison, torture and enslave Uyghurs. These horrific abuses led to the United States Government, as well as the Canadian and Dutch parliaments, declaring the Communist Chinese government guilty of genocide. New reports have shown unspeakable crimes, including forced abortion and forced sterilization, have been committed against Uyghur women. Children are separated from their parents and pressured to renounce their Uyghur heritage. Video footage has shown blindfolded Uyghurs being loaded onto trains and transported to the concentration camps. Human rights groups have indicated that Beijing is guilty of violating every provision of the United Nations Genocide Convention. Communist China is taking similar actions in Tibet, coercing hundreds of thousands of Tibetan people into mass labor camps.
Communist China has also stripped away the civil liberties of Hong Kongers, leading to more than 5 million people losing their rights to due process, free speech and free assembly. Beijing effectively ended the “one country, two systems” framework by changing Hong Kong’s election laws to ensure that no elected officials will criticize the Chinese Communist Party. It has jailed and sentenced dozens of Hong Kong democracy activists, including Joshua Wong, Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai, on baseless charges after exercising their civil liberties and criticizing the government’s authoritarian crackdowns.
The actions by the communist government in Beijing are horrendous and represent some of the worst human rights atrocities in decades. That’s why I have led efforts in the Senate to hold Communist China accountable and ensure it can never whitewash its crimes.
As you know, Beijing is slated to host the 2022 Olympic Games and NBCUniversal will broadcast those games in the United States and around the world. I have written to you twice about my concerns regarding coverage of the 2022 Games. So now, for a third time, and in light of the decision to cancel airing the Golden Globes over a lack of diversity, I am urging you to call on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Olympics out of Beijing or refuse to air the games. If NBCUniversal is actually interested in standing against real oppression, public relations stunts aren’t enough. NBCUniversal must use its influence to stand for the rights of Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers and refuse to air the games until they are moved to a nation that respects human rights.
Thank you for your consideration on this important matter, and I look forward to you making the right decision.
United States Senator