Tony Hall, the director general of British public broadcaster BBC, has apologized for the use of a racial slur in a news report last month.
The report, which aired on July 29 on the regional show “Points West” and on the BBC News Channel, covered an attack in which a Black health worker in Bristol, England, was hit by a car. The vehicle’s occupants had used the N-word to abuse their victim, and the BBC journalist repeated the racial slur to explain why the police considered the crime to be “racially aggravated.”
Although the network received more than 18,600 complaints about the use of the word, it initially defended the report.
However, on Saturday, BBC Radio DJ Sideman – real name David Whitely – resigned in protest at the way the matter had been handled. “The action and the defense of the action feels like a slap in the face of our community,” he said. Other broadcasting staff and politicians rallied to support him.
In an email sent to BBC staff Sunday, Hall said: “I recognize that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.”
More to follow.
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