• Thursday, Oct 01, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:06 pm

BBC apologizes for using racist word in news report

  • Published at 01:07 pm August 10th, 2020
A man talks on a mobile phone inside the BBC headquarters in London Reuters

BBC received over 18,000 complaints about the use of the racial slur

The BBC on Sunday issued an apology for broadcasting a racist term in one of their news reports.

The organization said it was a mistake that distressed many people, reports AP News.

The word was included by BBC last month when they reported on a violent attack on a young black man in Bristol, a city in southwest England. The attackers reportedly yelled the offensive term as they ran into the 21-year-old with a car.

The young man was hospitalized as he needed treatment for a broken leg and other injuries.

Following the broadcast, BBC received over 18,000 complaints about the use of the racial slur.

Comedian and broadcaster Sideman quit music station BBC 1Xtra on Saturday over the use of the term, and BBC’s failure to apologize.

The organization had previously justified the choice to use the word by saying it wanted to convey the racist nature of the attack. Viewers were warned by BBC that disturbing language would be used.

BBC’s intention “was to highlight an alleged racist attack,” said Director General Tony Hall in a memo to staff.

He further added: “Yet despite these good intentions, I recognize that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people. 

Also Read- In pictures: Protesting the death of George Floyd

“Every organization should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.”

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 triggered anti-racism movements across the globe. Following the incident, Britain’s institutions—including the government, the BBC, and the police—have faced pressure to address their own legacies of inequality and bias.

On Sunday, London police was accused of racial profiling by Dawn Butler, a black lawmaker. She said she and a male friend of hers were pulled over while driving through the Hackney area in the city. 

There is institutional racism in the police, Butler told Sky News.

“It is just tiring and exhausting and mentally draining,” she said.

The car was pulled over because an officer had incorrectly entered its license plate number into the police computer and it showed up as registered to an address in northern England, according to the Metropolitan Police force.

“Once the mistake was realized, the officer sought to explain this to the occupants; they were then allowed on their way,” the organization said in a statement.

Butler was named one of the 25 women shaping the future last week by British Vogue, a British fashion magazine.

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