It’s been over a year since we watched 150 women give powerful, raw, emotional statements at the sentencing of Larry Nassar. They spoke about their experiences, about what he did to them, and how it’s affected their lives. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. He’ll never be a free man again.
But there is much more to the story than that. While one man is in prison, the entire system of gymnastics in the United States allowed the abuse to happen, to flourish, and to deeply, irreparably affect and harm the lives of nearly 300 girls and women (not to mention their families and friends).
HBO will take a deep dive into the system that prioritized winning over everything in their upcoming documentary “At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal.” HBO released the trailer on Wednesday, and it’s truly chilling.
We’ve seen a lot of footage of Larry Nassar sitting in the courtroom in his prison jumpsuit, looking disconsolate and uncomfortable as he listens to the statements of the hundreds of women he abused. But the documentary trailer shows a much different Nassar: the Nassar who was unconcerned with getting caught, perhaps even confident that he never would be.
There’s footage of him actually touching gymnasts to help them with their leg and foot placement, and knowing what Nassar did to over 250 girls and women makes that footage feel disturbing. While that plays, you hear several survivors talk about how much they trusted and relied on him at the time.
The documentary will premiere on HBO on May 3, 2019, and will include exclusive interviews with gymnasts telling the story of their abuse. If the trailer is any indication, it’ll be a tough but compelling watch. And it should be. The only way to make sure a scandal like this never happens again is to expose how it happened and who is responsible, and to give survivors a voice.
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