US television network NBC has been slammed for cutting a sombre segment, believed to be a tribute to the victims of the 7/7 London terror attacks, from its coverage of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.
Instead, viewers were shown Ryan Seacrest's interview with swimmer Michael Phelps.
The performance, which was accompanied by the hymn 'Abide With Me', has been widely interpreted in Britain as a tribute to the victims of the bomb attacks that killed 52 commuters in London's transit network in July 2005.
The station defended its decision not to broadcast the memorial performance, in which spectators were asked to display photos of deceased loved ones.
"Our program is tailored for the US television audience," NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes said.
"It's a credit to (ceremony director) Danny Boyle that it required so little editing."
The choreographer of the segment, Akram Khan, said he was disappointed by the NBC's decision not to air it.
"I am really sad that I couldn't show the work in America and that really upsets me, because I don’t think it’s any more or less than the other pieces," he said.
Viewers have taken to Twitter to express their anger.
"Just heard about NBC cutting out the 7/7 tribute last night it's shocking imagine if we did that to a 9/11 tribute they would go mental," Twitter-user Josh Steele wrote.
"Disgusting behaviour from NBC after they shun #olmpicceremony's '7/7 tribute' for an interview with Michael Phelps," Prad Patel posted.
Sources: National Post, Twitter
Author: Fiona Willan, Approving editor: Henri Paget