Channel 7 commentator Johanna Griggs has hit back at a report the network knew full well athletes would not be filmed partying at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, saying they assumed the broadcast would “feature athletes non-stop, celebrating, letting their hair down.”
Griggs’ assessment of the closing ceremony went viral after she and co-commentator Basil Zempilas pilloried the event’s lack of athlete involvement – a sentiment shared by viewers, who complained about the closing ceremony on social media.
The pair also informed viewers that Channel 7 was only permitted to show footage provided by the Games itself, and that the network would have broadcast the athletes’ entrance if it were allowed to do so.
But a subsequent ABC report on the broadcast arrangement between the Games and Channel 7 stated the network was well aware of the fact athletes would not be included in the footage provided, and that Channel 7 was actually permitted to exclusively film the athletes’ entrance.
Griggs last night stomped all over ABC’s assessment, issuing a follow-up tweet saying “at no point in the [media guide] does it mention that there wouldn’t be one single shot shown of athletes watching the performances.”
The former competitive swimmer and 1990 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist added “if we’d left that meeting room with any indication given to us that no athletes would feature, then of course we would have made other arrangements to capture those moments.”
Firstly, thank u to everyone for your overwhelming support around this issue. I’m still sad that a wonderful Commonwealth Games has been tarnished with such a sad ending. But when someone has a crack at your integrity, u have to respond. I hope this answers some of your questions pic.twitter.com/BHY1mTvsSO
— Johanna Griggs (@JohGriggs7) April 16, 2018
Griggs’ latest statement caps off a calamitous end to the Games, which saw the event’s chair Peter Beattie apologise on Channel 7’s Sunrise and on Twitter for absolutely mucking up the closing ceremony.
Athletes have also spoken out about their lacking involvement in the ceremony.
Not exactly a good outcome for anyone involved, tbh.
Scott Barbour / Getty Images