BBC defends use of racial slurs in report


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The BBC defended the use of a racial slur in a report, but admitted it was offensive.

The N word was used in its entirety in a report on a racist attack in Bristol, broadcast by Points West and the BBC News Channel last week.

The BBC said the use of the word was “editorially justified given the context” and that the decision was supported by the victim’s family.

This prompted 384 complaints to Ofcom and apology requests were made.

The report, which airs Wednesday, July 29, describes an attack on a 21-year-old NHS worker and musician known as K or K-Dogg.

He had been hit by a car on July 22 on his way to a bus stop from his place of work, Bristol’s Southmead Hospital. He suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg, nose and cheekbone.

Police said the incident was being treated as racially aggravated due to racist language used by car occupants.

A fourth man was arrested on Tuesday for attempted murder.

  • Fourth man arrested for racist attack on K-Dogg

In a statement on the BBC’s complaints website, the BBC said: “We admit that this caused an offense, but we would like people to understand why we made the decision we made. ”

He said the victim’s family “specifically asked us to show photos of this man’s injuries and also decided that we should report the racist language, in its entirety, allegedly spoken by the occupants of the car” .

“Notwithstanding the family’s wishes, we independently considered whether the use of the word was justified by the drafting given the context,” the statement said.

“The word is rarely used on air, and in this case, as in all cases, the decision to use it in its entirety was made by a team of people including a number of editorial managers. “

“The most horrible of words”

But some continued to demand a public apology from the BBC.

Referring to the BBC’s response to the complaints, William Adoasi, CEO of Vitae London, said it was “just exhausting and a waste of our energy”.

InfluencHers, a group of professional British women of Afro-Caribbean descent, wrote an open letter to the BBC, saying it was “time for a public apology” due to “the blatant and repeated use of the word N ”.

The letter referred to the reporting as well as the use of the N word in the BBC documentary American History’s Biggest Fibs, which first aired in 2019 but was rebroadcast recently.

“We feel helpless, insulted and attacked by society’s ease of using what for many descendants of slavery and colonization, and victims of continued racism, is the most degrading and horrible of words,” indicates the letter.

“It’s a term that many of us called upon during our childhood and even later in life, and we now object to being forced to hear it being used casually by an institution to which we pay fees.” license. ”

The documentary’s presenter, Lucy Worsley, apologized on Twitter, saying the use of the word “was not acceptable.”


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