A coalition of human rights groups is urging major broadcasters across the world, including NBC, to cancel plans to cover the 2022 Olympics in Beijing over reported human rights abuses in China.
In a joint letter to NBC Chief Operating Officer Jeff Shell and executives at other networks, the groups said outlets "are at serious risk of being complicit in China’s plan to ‘sport wash’ the severe and worsening human rights abuses and embolden the actions of the Chinese authorities."
By broadcasting Beijing 2022, media outlets will "legitimize these abuses and promote what is being widely described as the ‘Genocide Games,' " the groups claimed in their letter, which was first obtained by The Associated Press.
NBC Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In 2014, NBC inked a deal to pay $7.75 billion for the rights to the Olympics through 2032.
China's foreign ministry has repeatedly denied accusations of oppression of ethnic minorities and other human rights abuses.
"Genocide must be a red line that cannot be crossed, no matter the cost," the groups wrote in their letter.
Lhadon Tethong, co-chair of the International Tibet Network, called out broadcasters like Canada's CBC, Britain’s BBC and ARD in Germany as media outlets that receive public money and should not cover the Games.
“It is unconscionable that NBC, CBC and other broadcasters plan to help Chinese leaders project a rosy image of an ‘Olympic Games as usual’ while they are carrying out genocide against the Uyghurs, and engaging in a massive campaign of repression against Tibetans and so many others,” Tethong told the AP.
The Beijing Games are slated to begin in February.