NBC play-by-play sportscaster Al Michaels made a Harvey Weinstein joke on Sunday during the New York Giants- Denver Broncos game.
The comment came in the third quarter as the Giants led the Broncos 17-3, just two weeks after the New York Times published a report saying that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein paid off multiple women alleging that he sexually harassed them.
Days later, the New Yorker published a second expose detailing the stories of several women accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment and even rape.
The mounting accusations against Weinstein were obviously serious, so much so that police in both London and New York City launched investigations as more and more women came forward. But, for Michaels, Sunday was apparently not too soon to joke about Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct.
“I mean, let’s face it. The Giants are coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein and they’re up by 14 points,” Michaels said. After a few moments of silence, Michael’s fellow sportscaster Cris Collinsworth said, “Only my L.A. guy comes up with that one. There you go.”
“Well, you know. All I do is read the papers,” Michaels said.
Meanwhile, Al Michaels shows how he hasn't ever perfected comedy on NBC pic.twitter.com/T8GMwwkqW3
— Colin Kaepernick Was Exiled Exercising His Rights (@RickStrom) October 16, 2017
Michaels later apologized for the comment, calling it “flip” and insisting that it was “not meant in that manner.” “So my apologies,” Michaels added.
Al Michaels' apology for Weinstein joke pic.twitter.com/QrIPTb6l2X
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) October 16, 2017
Media outlets brandished adjectives like “cringe-worthy” and “painfully awkward” in their headlines.
Reactions to Michaels’ comment on social media were mixed. Some acknowledged it was in poor taste.
Al Michaels made a mistake and said something really stupid. Hopefully he doesn't get suspended or fired by the outrage machine
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 16, 2017
Al Michaels is probably the best play-by-play guy in history. But boy… that was a big, big lapse in judgment.
— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) October 16, 2017
too soon, al michaels. toooooooo soon.
— bomani (@bomani_jones) October 16, 2017
Meanwhile, others praised Michaels for his “comedic genius.”
Al Michaels, you are a comedic genius 😂
— Cardinals Possible Playoff Team (@_JA41_) October 16, 2017
That was a good joke by Al Michaels.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) October 16, 2017