News 9 August 2020

The BBC has apologised over their use of the N-word in a news report

9 August 2020

Following weeks of public outcry, the BBC has now offered an apology over their controversial use of the N-Word in a news report.

As previously reported by GRM News, the BBC aired the racial slur as part of a story about a horrific racially aggravated attack which saw an innocent man be deliberately struck by a car and subjected to racial slurs. 

When reporting the incident, the journalist in question used the N-word and this led to over 18,600 complaints to the BBC in addition to 384 to broadcast regulator OFCOM.

In response to the complaints, the BBC defended their use of the term as vital to the story and said that their editorial team ruled it necessary and acceptable.

Now, however, the BBC has formally apologised in a statement given by their Director-General Lord Tony Hall.

He said, “It should be clear that the BBC’s intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so. Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.”

“The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our guidance on offensive language across our output.”

In response to the controversy, popular Radio 1Xtra DJ and personality Sideman quit his roles at the BBC yesterday effective immediately.