BBC Radio DJ fired over Royal Baby comment

Discussion in 'Celebrity Scuttlebutt' started by Sarah, May 9, 2019.

  1. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    What a bloody idiot.....

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-48212693

    Broadcaster Danny Baker has offered "sincere apologies" for a "stupid unthinking gag" on Twitter about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new baby.

    The now deleted tweet, which has been circulated on social media, showed an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes with the caption: "Royal Baby leaves hospital".

    The 5 live presenter was accused of mocking the duchess's racial heritage.

    Baker said it was "a joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes".

    "Royal watching not my forte," he added.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    I was absolutely appalled when I read about his tweet this morning. I've lost all respect for Danny Baker and the BBC were correct to sack him.
     
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  3. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Some others on Twitter are asking why the BBC fired him, but are allowing guests like Nigel Farage to appear. It's in a different context though and the BBC wouldn't be maintaining impartiality if they only brought on non-controversial guests.

    I do find it hard to believe that Danny didn't know what he was saying with this Tweet, despite his denial and apology.
     
  4. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Fan

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    He's a blatant racist and his excuse was a pathetic one.
     
  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Everyone in my particular little Twitter bubble seems to have a slightly different opinion on this today and I've found myself agreeing with all of them.

    Jon Ronson's tweet that it seemed really unlikely that Baker has been a secret racist for the past forty years and just suddenly decided to blow his cover today made sense to me.

    The main argument I've seen seems to boil down to intent: specifically, does it even matter what Baker's intention was? Some people argue that whether or not he intended to be racist is irrelevant; the only thing that matters is the result. Others argue that his intention is crucial to the matter.

    I think the kind of impartiality BBC is meant to maintain is more about presenting different sides of an argument from credible, qualified sources, not just about 'controversial v non-controversial'. Otherwise, they could never have a discussion about the Holocaust without having a Holocaust denier there to say it never happened, or a discussion about climate change without someone arguing that climate change doesn't exist.
     
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  6. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Fan

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    He posted a picture of two white individuals with a monkey in the middle and captioned it 'Royal Baby leaves hospital' - there's an obvious underlying streak of racism, whether it was intended by him or not. (There's more layers to racism than "You're black, I'm white, so you're my slave.")

    Find someone who looked at that picture (and caption) and said "Oh, what a funny statement about the Royal family and circus animals."o_O
     
  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    The "whether" is, for some people, the crux of the matter.

    And that's the counter-argument.
     
  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    A stupid joke is still a joke, but we need to take responsibility for our online behaviour.
    Whether he should have been fired or not depends on his employers code of conduct, not how everyone else feels about the matter.

    I haven't seen the picture and even if I would see it now it would be too late to form an unbiased opinion, but I don't really associate monkeys with black people, especially
    Then again I also don't associate monkeys with the circus.

    Poor Archie, his first day on earth has resulted in a twitter debacle.
     
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  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    FYI:

    Good morning, everyone.
    Following one of the worst days of my life I just want to formally apologise 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.
    In attempting to lampoon privilege & the news cycle I went to a file of goofy pictures & saw the chimp dressed as a Lord and thought, "That's the one!" Had I kept searching I might have chosen General Tom Thumb or even a a baby in a crown. But I didn't. God knows I wish had.
    Minutes later I was alerted by followers that this royal baby was of course mixed race and waves of panic and revulsion washed over me. f***, what had I done? I needed no lessons on the centuries slurs equating simians and people of colour. Racism at it's basest.
    I am aware black people do not need a white man to tell them this. Deleting it immediately and apologising for the awful gaffe I even foolishly tried to make light of it. (My situation that is, not the racism involved.) Too late and here I am.
    I would like once and for all to apologise to every single person who, quite naturally, took the awful connection at face value. I understand that and all of the clamour and opprobrium I have faced since. I am not feeling sorry for myself. I fucked up. Badly.
    But it was a genuine, naive and catastrophic mistake. There is of course little media/twitter traction in such a straight-forward explanation. The picture in context as presented was obviously shamefully racist. It was never intended so - seriously who on earth would 'go there'?
    Anyway i am now paying the price for this crass & regrettable blunder and rightly so. Probably even this final word from me will extend the mania. ('Dog whistle' anyone?) I would like to thank friends on here for their kinder words and once again - I am so, so sorry.
     
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  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    What a blunder. The stand-up comedians are going to have a field day.
     
  11. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    Employment law states that the key factor is how the incident is perceived by those who receive them and not by the person's intent. I think most people accept that the tweet was racist and on that basis the BBC had to take action agsinst him.
     
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  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  13. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    I would believe his apology was more sincere if he gave it when attention was first given to his tweet instead of trying to suggest that people who thought the tweet was racist had diseased minds.

    If he was trying to "lampoon privilege" why didn't he post the photo when one if Prince William's 3 children were born?

    Why did he originally try to justify the photo by saying he didn't know which Royal had given birth?

    Does he really think we are stupid? He clearly comparing Archie to a chimpanzee because the baby has mixed race heritage and thought he had the type of followers who would appreciate racist humour.

    This apology seems like a desperate attempt to rescue his career rather than a genuine act of contrition and sincerity.
     
  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    I'm not certain about any of this, but I think what he was he was saying, albeit very clumsily, is that someone who automatically equates a monkey with a black child has a diseased mind.

    It's part of some running gag about class, apparently. Maybe the gag wasn't running when William's kids were born?

    To be honest, when I saw the headline about this royal baby, my first thought was, "I thought she'd already had it." Then I realised I'd got it mixed up with one of William's. If you're sufficiently uninterested in the royals, they do all tend to blend together. I'm not even sure I could pick either the two royal wives out of (separate) line-ups.
     
  15. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    Comparing black people with chimps and other types of apes is one of the oldest anti-black racist tropes in existence. It's inconceivable that an intelligent man such as Mr Baker wouldn't know that.

    Or maybe William's kids are white so the "gag" wouldn't work on them.

    I'm not a fan of the Royal family, I think we should elect our head of state and become a modern democracy, but even I had some awareness about Meghan having a baby. Mr Baker works in the media and he would have us believe he wasn't up on what was the main story on the news when he posted that photo?

    "White privilege has long whitewashed racist and inflammatory language as just ‘unconscious bias’; perpetuated the bigotry of intolerant white people as ignorance; camouflages racist behaviour like Baker’s as just ‘error of judgment’." - Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu

    I agree with Shola.
     
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  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    And I certainly don’t disagree with Shola! And yet ... I still not sure Baker’s behaviour wasn’t an error of judgement. Which isn’t to suggest I’m dismissing it as ‘just’ an error. If that makes any sense.
     
  17. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    Only Danny Baker knows for sure whether the tweet was an inappropriate racist joke or a genuine error of judgement. I would be more inclined to think it was the latter had Mr Baker issued the apology quoted above when the issue first was brought to his attention as being offensive. Instead, his initial response was to have a go at anyone who took offense, to criticise the BBC for his sacking and to defend his actions. That's why I question the sincerity of his apology and why it seems to be more of public relations exercise to deal with the backlash against him.
     
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  18. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe I have been living under a rock but I don't think there is any connection between a monkey and a black baby. :confuse:
    Yes I have heard that monkeys are our closest living relative but I thought that applied to all people of all races.

    Anyway I don't know anything about the person who posted this joke and I don't think his type of humour is funny. But I do think this is an excellent example of why certain people's lives were better pre-social media. Just like Roseanne Barr this person lost his job over some stupid tweet. :re:

    So the conclusion is once again that people should think before they post something on social media.
     
  19. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    And this is the part that doesn't make sense. Why creating this backlash in the first place, how could he - in this day and age - not have anticipated any kind of critcism?
    Especially if he's such a smart man.
    Yes, don't offend other people, it's as simple as that.
    Or is it that simple? Internet is becoming more than just an additional reality, maybe we shouldn't always pretty-facebook everything, maybe it doesn't hurt to show our humility in all its imperfect glory every now and then. It may not be pleasant, but sometimes it makes for good discussion.

    Then there's also that little thing called "forgiveness". I suppose Mr Baker simply has to deal with the zero tolerance from a legal point of view (that's why we have these laws in the first place) but he did apologize.
    True racists are believers, they don't apologize for what they believe in.

    A few years ago I stumbled upon an interview with Jeremy Irons, one of the topics was same sex marriage. He illustrated his doubts with a far-fetched argument that men could marry their sons in order to avoid...inheritance taxes, or something like that.
    It was quite a douchebaggy interview - but, lo and behold, a year later I stumbled upon the follow-up interview about these comments, and he explained that he was merely using it as a devil's advocate argument rather than a serious argument against gay marriage.
    Now, of course I could think "don't bullshit the bullshitter", but he did apologize. Do apologies mean absolutely nothing anymore? It cannot undo the damage, an apology may be false, but it also shows effort.
    We make mistakes, we hurt people, the least we can do is say "sorry". It's a start.
    "Being right" shouldn't always feel so satisfactory, imho.

     
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  20. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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