News 8 August 2020

Sideman has quit his job at the BBC over their recent n-word controversy

8 August 2020

Sideman has quit his roles at the BBC effective immediately over their recent use of the N-word in a news report.

The BBC aired the racial slur as apart 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 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. 

Announcing his departure, Sideman said,  “I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m about to say and what it means and on this occasion, I just don’t think that I can look the other way”.

“We live in a world that needs to change, systems that need to change, organisations that need to change. As a person that believes that change can happen and wanting change to happen, I understand transition, I understand it’s nothing anything that’s going to happen overnight, that there will need to be a lot of learning and tearing down of certain building blocks of our society that took a long time to build up.”

“So I’m OK with process. I’m OK with waiting, within reason, for certain things to change. but the BBC sanctioning the N-word being said on national television by a white person is something I can’t rock with. This is an error of judgement where I can’t just smile with you through the process and act like everything is OK.”

He added, “the action and the defence of the action feels like a slap in the face of our community. That is why, effective immediately, I’m leaving my job as a radio broadcaster at BBC 1Xtra. With no apology, I just don’t feel comfortable being aligned with the organisation.”