BBC Radio Host Apologizes For Racist Tweet About Royal Newborn
|thenorthstar||May 13, 2019|
A British radio presenter is apologizing after a writing a racist tweet about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s newborn baby boy. Danny Baker, who was fired by the BBC on May 9, is accused of mocking the Duchess of Sussex’s heritage with a tweet of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in human clothing. The tweet, which Baker deleted, included the caption: “royal baby leaves hospital.”
“This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement to The North Star. “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”
Baker vehemently apologized for the racist image in a series of tweets on May 10. “Following one of the worst days of my life I just want to formally apologise (sic) for the outrage I caused and explain how I got myself into this mess. I chose the wrong photo to illustrate a joke. Disastrously so,” he wrote.
The presenter said that, in an attempt to “lampoon privilege and the news cycle,” he looked for a ridiculous photo and came across the image of the dressed-up chimp. After tweeting the image, Baker said he was alerted that the royal baby was biracial and that “waves of panic and revulsion washed over me.”
“I needed no lessons on the centuries slurs equating simians and people of color,” he tweeted. “Racism at it’s basest.” Baker said he deleted the tweet immediately, apologized, and “foolishly” tried to make light of his tweet.
Baker reiterated his apology and said it was “a genuine, naive, and catastrophic mistake.” He concluded, “Anyway I am now paying the price for this crass & regrettable blunder and rightly so. ...I would like to thank friends on here for their kinder words and once again – I am so, so sorry.”
Markle, who became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry, has endured a barrage of racist attacks from the media and the public. Prince Harry was forced to release a statement condemning the abuse and harassment when the two went public with their relationship.
Harry said he has tried to develop a thick skin as a much-talked-about royal, but said attacks on his then-girlfriend crossed a line. The statement said that some of the abuse has been public, “the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.” Other harassment happened privately.
“It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,” the statement said. “This is not a game — it is her life and his.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex married in May 2018. Though often characterized as the first interracial couple in the British royal family, the duo is just one of many interracial couples in Britain’s royal history. In 1761, King George III married Sophia Charlotte, a descendant of a Black branch of the Portuguese royal family. Charlotte, who reigned as queen of the United Kingdom until her death in 1818, is the great-great-great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. After the couple announced her pregnancy, the American-born duchess was again targeted with racial abuse on social media. Kensington Palace announced in March that it would devote more resources to deleting comments targeting Markle and blocking abusive accounts on Twitter and Instagram, CNN reported. The couple welcomed their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.