Al Michaels, the iconic play-by-play man on NBC's Sunday Night Football, apologized on air during last night's game after comparing the New York Giants' bad week to that of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood executive accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault by numerous prominent and aspiring actresses.
"I mean, let's face it. The Giants are coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein and they're up 14 points," Michaels quipped halfway through the third quarter of Sunday night's 23-10 win over the Denver Broncos.
"Only my L.A. guy comes up with that one," said a laughing Chris Collinsworth, Michael's on-air partner.
"All you have to do is read the papers — any paper," Michaels said.
The Giants did have a remarkably bad week, likely losing wide receivers Odell Bechkam Jr. and Brandon Marshall for the season because of injuries during last Sunday's 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that dropped the team to 0-5. Late in the week, the team suspended cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie indefinitely after an argument he had with coach Ben McAdoo.
But in the mind of many viewers and sports media figures, the Giants' bad week clearly didn't compare to the decades of misconduct Weinstein is accused of by more than 30 women, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rose McGowan.
"Did Al Michaels really just say that?" Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman said.
"Too soon, Al Michaels. Toooooooo soon," ESPN host Bomani Jones wrote.
"Al Michaels is probably the best play-by-play guy in history. But boy… that was a big, big lapse in judgment," Bleacher Report's Doug Farrar tweeted.
In the fourth quarter, Michaels came back from a commercial and apologized for the misplaced joke.
"Sorry I made a reference before, trying to be flip about someone obvious much in the news across the country and it was not meant in that manner," Michael said as Broncos wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was being carted off the field. "So, my apologizes, and we'll just leave it at that."
Collinsworth responded more bluntly, simply saying," Move on."
Michaels' apology comes a day after The Late Late Show host James Corden was also forced to walk back several jokes he made about Weinstein during Friday night's amfAR gala in Los Angeles.
"Right here in L.A., it's so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage," Corden said, a joke that The Hollywood Reporter reported fell flat among his audience. After hearing the crowd's mixed response, he added, "I don't know whether that groan was that you like that joke or you don't like that joke. If you don't like that joke, you should probably leave now."
After some heated criticism online by two of Weinstein's accusers, McGowan and Italian actress Asia Argento, Corden issued a statement apologizing for attempting to make light of the situation.
"To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey's inexcusable behavior, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention," Corden tweeted.