Good afternoon Insiders, Max Goldbart here. World Cup fever has gripped Deadline Towers and while our U.S. colleagues gobble up their turkey with all the trimmings, we’ve got plenty to round up in the world of international TV and film. Controversy keeps on coming: Those who thought the Qatar World Cup controversy would melt away when the real action started were sadly mistaken.
It is hard to keep track of happenings off the pitch during a fast and furious first week of the world’s biggest sporting tournament but the tone was set by a helplessly bizarre tirade from FIFA boss Gianni Infantino Saturday, in which his robust defense of the Gulf state led with a much-mocked “Today I feel Qatari, today I feel Arab, today I feel African, today I feel gay” before he went on to equate serious human rights plights with him being bullied as a child for having red hair.
Gianni’s peculiar outburst preceded an opening ceremony featuring Morgan Freeman and BTS’ Jung Kook but some weren’t interested.
In a controversial move, the BBC chose to only show the ceremony on an online live stream, while the main channel program featured an extended critique of Qatar and FIFA by host Gary Lineker and a trio of pundits.Read more on deadline.com