Johanna Farber goes off Instagram after controversy on cameras focusing on her butt
Professional climber Johanna Farber deleted her Instagram account after becoming embroiled in controversy over the "sexualization" of the sport.
Farber's social media move came days after she called out the broadcast of the Climbing World Championships in Moscow after several reports claimed cameras filming the event focused on filming her buttocks as she performed. The sport's governing body, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), issued an apology to Farber on Saturday, September 25. The athlete is said to have called the situation “disrespectful and upsetting” on her Instagram stories before taking down her account.
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In a statement on Saturday, the IFSC condemned the "objectification of the human body" referring to clips shown of Farber during the ORF'd coverage of last week's event. The body said it "would like to deeply apologize to Johanna Farber, Austria Climbing, all the athletes, and the entire Sport Climbing community for the images that were broadcast today during the women's Boulder semi-final at the IFSC Climbing World Championships Moscow 2021. The IFSC condemns the objectification of the human body and will take further action in order for it to stop, and to protect the athletes."
The statement also relayed a pointed comment by IFSC President Marco Scolaris after he met with a representative of the Austrian team. "How many times will things have to be done wrong, before we learn how to do them right?" he said. The comment came after the host broadcaster apologized to Farber in a similar incident during the World Cup in Innsbruck in June. "We acknowledge that, for a brief moment, we chose to display the sport of climbing in the wrong way," the ORF said at the time. "We commit ourselves to keep working for a fair, equal, and better representation of women's sports."
The 23-year-old climber said she had been inundated with messages about the coverage, which was broadcast to thousands of viewers across her native Australia before being published on the IFSC's official YouTube channel. "Honestly wtf?" Farber wrote on Instagram. "Having this slow-motion clip shown on National TV and YouTube live stream is so disrespectful and upsetting. I'm an athlete and here to show my best performance. To be honest I do really feel so embarrassed to know that thousands of people saw this. We need to stop sexualizing women in sports and start to appreciate their performance."
Social media observers, however, wondered what the fuss was about and appeared to push back on the outrage.
"I want to be woke, but I cannot imagine how one films rock climbing without showing the glutes of the athlete. I must do more research to find some glute-free rock climbing footage," one Twitter user wrote.
"Can someone explain to me how you broadcast climbing without the camera being on the posterior of the athlete? #johannafarber Are they really showing a different angle on her than any other athlete?" a comment read.
"Seriously? The Olympics show close-up crotch shots of every gymnast's ass, and people are worried about this?" another added.
I want to be woke, but I cannot imagine how one films rock climbing without showing the glutes of the athlete. I must do more research to find some glute-free rock climbing footage. https://t.co/CkcRhf5d1z #woke #wokerockclimbing #JohannaFarber— Gal Gadot Profile Pic to Gain Followers (@TyWebbBeTheBall) September 21, 2021
Can someone explain to me how you broadcast climbing without the camera being on the posterior of the athlete? #johannafarber Are they really showing a different angle on her than any other athlete?— Gal Gadot Profile Pic to Gain Followers (@TyWebbBeTheBall) September 21, 2021
Seriously? The Olympics show close-up crotch shots of every gymnast's ass, and people are worried about this? Johanna Farber: Climber receives apology after inappropriate images were aired https://t.co/HFVI2mOthd— danbo (@dpperk) September 20, 2021