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USC pulls in-house video after deeming it insensitive during pandemic

New USC athletic director Mike Bohn speaks during a news conference Nov. 7, 2019.
USC athletic director Mike Bohn, pictured in 2019, apologized Friday after a flashy video depicting Trojans players and coaches debuted, calling it “out of step.”
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

One day after USC announced the launch of BLVD Studios, its in-house creative lab, with a flashy video depicting Trojans players and coaches attending a faux Hollywood premiere and a pool party in the Hollywood Hills, the university took the video down.

The school deemed those scenes of unmasked players and coaches during the pandemic to be insensitive.

Athletic director Mike Bohn apologized for the video in a statement Friday afternoon, calling it “out of step.”

“It was meant to be light-hearted in an otherwise tough year and we encouraged our athletes to participate,” Bohn said. “In retrospect, the themes and timing of the video were out of step, especially given the challenges everyone is facing today. I apologize to the USC community for this lapse in judgment. We know we can do better next time.”

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College athletes will soon be able to capitalize on their name, image and likeness. In an attempt to get a jump on the competition, USC has created an in-house studio.

The removal of the video doesn’t impact the launch of BLVD Studios, which USC created to prepare for landscape-altering changes coming to college football, when the NCAA’s rules regarding name, image and likeness are adjusted next year.

Those involved with the filming of the video, which was done on Sunday and Monday, were tested and subject to COVID-19 safety precautions, according to USC. Players and coaches are already subject to rigorous daily testing, just to hold football practice on USC’s campus.

USC is slated to open its football season next Saturday against Arizona State.

The video was meant to depict all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood in order to sell recruits on the potential branding power of Los Angeles.


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