Political tensions and cultural differences have long provided a vivid backdrop for the Games, and NBC expects that tradition to continue next year in Sochi, Russia. The Winter Olympics are set to begin Feb. 6.
All host nations, including Russia, "come with political and social issues, and we will address those issues as they are revelant at the time of the Games," Lazarus told a crowd of nearly 200 television writers Saturday at the Television Critics Assn. conference in Beverly Hills.
Lazarus sought to tamp down speculation that Russia's recently enacted anti-gay laws could upstage the athletes or competitions. "Governments across the world have different laws," he said. Lazarus also stopped short of saying NBC would use its huge platform to advocate against the laws.
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"Obviously, as a company, we are for equality and opportunity for all," Lazarus said. "We don't believe in the spirit of the law they have passed, and we are hopeful the Olympic spirit will win out."