Update: In an email, Ben Cafardo, Senior Director, Communications at ESPN, shared ESPN’s statement: “We mistakenly used an old stock image and we apologize.”
The New York Knicks hosted the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday. During halftime, ABC ran a promotion showing Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry arriving for his team’s playoff game against the Sacramento Kings, which aired after the Heat and Knicks finished.
As ABC went to a commercial, it showed a shot of the Statue of Liberty. Only, this shot was clearly more than 20 years old.
Normally, that wouldn’t be such a big deal, if it was even noticeable. But in this case, behind the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, which collapsed shortly after planes flew into them on September 11, 2001, were clearly visible.
Pay attention at the end. How old is this footage ABC is using?! Wtf is goin on here?! pic.twitter.com/254YhBzE1R
— Khaled Abdallah (@khaled74) April 30, 2023
This did in fact air on ABC. https://t.co/hsDSYXQUg6 pic.twitter.com/mnOFk8hvrd
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 30, 2023
Yes, stock videos are often used and occasionally, there will be something in the video that dates the footage. Maybe it doesn’t show a building that has since been built or focuses on something from years ago, like an old political poster or something along those lines. In a city like New York, which hosts many events, you’d like to think that a network would try to use more up-to-date videos. But more often than not, it’s forgettable.
This was not forgettable, as was readily apparent by the reactions of people watching. And the prevailing question was, how in the world did this go unnoticed?
I don’t know how this wasn’t flagged before it went on air. https://t.co/Q0J8YZi3Ka
— Chris Jastrzembski (@Chris_Jast) April 30, 2023
Looks like an editing position just opened up at ABC Sports. Ouch! https://t.co/uRx04SzOT0
— Nick Weig (@tbweig) April 30, 2023
Aye @ESPNNBA @ABCNetwork who do you have editing bump in/out footage…someone isn’t paying attention to details about #NewYorkCity skyline… https://t.co/xIIAXOtrkM
— Brandon Lee Bryant (@brandonbryanttv) April 30, 2023
Is this as bad as Fox putting graphics over the 9/11 memorial? That’s a matter of opinion. But like that, it’s something that should have been noticed in quality control in the editing department.
[Khaled Abdallah, Photo Credit: ABC]