Reporter Covering Winter Olympics Dragged Away by Chinese Officials Live On Air

Live television can be unpredictable, but a correspondent for a Dutch television company got more than he bargained for when he was manhandled while reporting from the Beijing Winter Olympics in a clip that has gone viral.

Sjoerd den Daas was reporting for Dutch public broadcaster NOS outside the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest in the Chinese capital where the Games' opening ceremony took place on Friday night.

Den Daas was speaking to the camera when he was interrupted by a security volunteer who started yelling at him and tried to pull him out of shot. Another guard appeared in front of the camera and tried to stop the broadcast before the confused anchor in the studio took over.

As of Saturday morning, the clip of the encounter had been viewed more than 750,000 times.

In a Twitter thread, den Daas explained the circumstances of the altercation. He said that his team had spent some time setting up a live location for filming by the stadium after police directed them away from a cordoned off area.

"Just after we had gone live, I was forcefully pulled out of the picture without any warning by a plainclothes man wearing a red badge that read, 'Public Safety Volunteer.' He did not identify himself," he tweeted.

He said that at the same time, another man took his team's light installation and that "when asked, they couldn't say what we had done wrong.

"We were able to continue our TV live from a parking lot around the corner."

Den Daas said over the last few weeks, he and other foreign colleagues had been "hindered or stopped several times by the police while reporting on subjects related to the Games."

"Therefore, it's hard to see last night's incident as an isolated incident," he tweeted, "and now back to work."

There are concerns over whether the media will be able to do their jobs freely in China during the Games.

But spokesman for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mark Adams said "these things do happen and I think it's a one-off."

He said that athletes and media would have unfettered access to a "closed loop" during the Games, which includes the venues, the media centre and the accommodation, Reuters reported.

However, NOS denied the IOC's claims that it had spoken with the broadcaster and tweeted that the incident "is increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China."

"He is fine and was able to finish his story a few minutes later."

Newsweek has contacted the IOC and de Daas for comment.

Beijing national stadium
Fireworks over the National Stadium in Beijing, during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, on February 4, 2022. A Dutch reporter was confronted by a Chinese official while reporting outside the stadium. Lu Ye/Getty