Fox Sports 1 aired a questionable segment during the World Cup featuring a tour of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s vacation home.
According to Business Insider, the broadcast received swift backlash for being too lighthearted.
Although the two and a half minute segment was produced by National Geographic, it came across more like an episode of the popular series from the early 2000’s, “MTV Cribs.”
"Think what you will about Joseph Stalin, but there's no denying this was one of the most formidable figures in all of history," reporter Sergey Gordeev kicked off the segment saying.
The piece highlighted how Stalin allegedly lived in constant fear of assassination as it explained that the house had no rugs so that he could hear if anyone tried sneaking up on him and had a bulletproof couch where he would watch Charlie Chaplin films.
The segment also showed Gordeev playing on Stalin’s pool table and browsing around his old office where a life-like wax figure of the dictator sits.
The broadcast drew ire and confusion throughout the internet. Even other media outlets were very critical of the segment.
"It's hard to have a conversation about Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin without using the word 'murderer,'" wrote Liz Roscher of Yahoo Sports.
She added: “During his 30 years in power, he had hundreds of thousands of people executed while millions of others died in gulags or from famine. But during its World Cup coverage on Monday, Fox found a way to talk about Stalin and leave out all that murder and repression stuff."
Based on the social media reactions, it seems the general consensus is that airing the segment was a terrible idea and appears to glorify the notorious figure.
I mean, it’s bad, but maybe I’m being a bit harsh about FOX’s coverage of the World Cup...— Zack Goldman (@ThatDamnYank) June 25, 2018
The piece starts with "Think what you will about Joseph Stalin"— 🇮🇸🇩🇰Ian Hest🇸🇳🇺🇸 (@IanHest) June 25, 2018
Uhhhhh yea...I do. Why are you now giving me an MTV Cribs tour of his house?
"This is Stalin's house. Look at how cool it is. Was he good, was he bad? Who knows? Now, back to the World Cup."— Zito (@_Zeets) June 25, 2018
*a pre-World Cup meeting, Fox HQ, January*— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) June 25, 2018
A: Alright, we've got six mini-docs wrapped. We've got to cover Stalin, don't we?
B: Agreed. Do we talk about the genocide he caused? The famine? The personality cult?
C (a Baz Luhrmann type): His Dacha was 🔥🔥🔥.
(C sips his 4Loco.)
@FS1 @NatGeo That segment on Stalin's house was highly inappropriate. Light and airy tone, talking about positive or negative and Stalin's "arguable" history? Imagine a similar segment on Hitler's retreat.— Gregory Wagner (@eggywags) June 25, 2018
Did FS1 just start a segment on Stalin with “Think what you will about Stalin?”— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) June 25, 2018
This piece was particularly egregious as current world leaders, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, our own President Donald Trump, and Russia’s current president Vladimir Putin are mirroring his authoritarian leadership in the present.