Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) claimed NBC refused to air an ad that calls out U.S. sponsors of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and accused China of human rights violations.
In a tweet on Saturday, the Republican representative from Florida said the news station refused to air his ad, which he called “Genocide Games,” unless he censored the U.S. companies’ names in the video, Mediaite reported.
NBC refused to air my Olympics ad with @EnesFreedom unless we censor U.S. corporate logos of the Genocide Games sponsors.
We won’t let them silence us.
Here’s the ad that NBC and the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t want you to see 👇 pic.twitter.com/0y35Z6KdZC
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) February 5, 2022
The companies in the ad are supporters of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, namely, Procter & Gamble, Visa, Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Intel and Nike. Although Nike is not a main sponsor of the sporting event, the company reportedly provided Team USA members with apparel.
“The world’s greatest athletic showcase, but just outside the show: rape, genocide, slave labor,” Waltz said in the unaired ad featuring Enes Kanter Freedom. “American companies are drunk on Chinese dollars, entangled with communist dictators committing atrocities and propping up these genocide games staged by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Waltz reportedly used $40,000 in campaign funds to create the ad. In the video, Freedom can be seen saying, “Stand for freedom, defund the dictators. When you see ‘Made in China…’” Waltz finishes his sentence by saying, “Put it down.”
While speaking to the New York Post, the Florida lawmaker criticized the International Olympic Committee for hosting the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, saying the decision was equivalent to “holding the Olympics in Germany in the 1940s or Rwanda during their atrocities.”
Waltz also called out the companies that support the Winter Games, stating that they should be “absolutely ashamed” for contributing to social justice causes and preaching social justice while “turning a blind eye to the genocide going on” in China. “Many of them are complicit with their own supply chains,” he added.
However, a spokesperson for NBC issued a statement to the New York Post, saying, “The ad was not rejected. Per NBCUniversal’s long-standing advertising guidelines, changes to the ad were requested so it could air.”
James Hewitt, a spokesperson for Waltz, countered NBC’s statement and said removing the companies’ logos would defeat “a major purpose of the ad,” which is to “highlight US sponsors’ culpability with China’s human rights abuses.”
“The point of the ad was to target Olympic audiences in DC,” Hewitt added.
Waltz and Freedom are both strong critics of the Chinese government. The latter previously called out Xi Jinping in a series of tweets last year, describing him as an “insecure tyrant.”
“He invited me over to China… and wanted me to visit, and I was like, ‘OK.’ I was actually considering going. But unfortunately, he is a puppet of China,” Freedom said of Yao, whom he described as having a “big body, small heart and tiny brain.”
“Actually, like a little kid he blocked me on Instagram and just didn’t respond because I wanted to go visit the concentration camps and I wanted to visit Hong Kong and Tibet… I wanted to take him to Taiwan but obviously he was too scared to answer me,” Freedom added.
Featured Image via @michaelgwaltz