Danny Baker Fired from the BBC for Tweeting a Chimpanzee as the Royal Baby
What started as a bad joke led to the sack of a "BBC" host, Danny Baker, as he discovered the power of social media outrage.
Danny Baker has been with the "BBC Radio 5 Live" for decades, and his time with them came to an end due to a racist tweet he claims was intended to be a joke.
Good evening, everybody! pic.twitter.com/0uXbOz6cdz— Danny Baker (@prodnose) May 6, 2019
The world welcomed baby Sussex — Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on Monday, and while a lot of public figures sent in congratulatory messages, Baker, did the opposite.
The broadcaster shared on Twitter a black and white photo that shows a well-dressed "White" man and woman holding on to a Chimpanzee in a suit. The picture on its own is not offensive, but it got viewed as racist because of the caption "Royal baby leaves hospital" which accompanied it.
The post soon caused an uproar, and as Baker later told reporters, he didn't see the error in it until it was pointed out by someone he follows that the baby's mother — Meghan Markle is of African descent.
Broadcaster Danny Baker fired from BBC Radio 5 live after tweeting "royal baby" image of chimpanzee https://t.co/DTjVW3r8T2— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 9, 2019
The 61-year-old said he took it down immediately, noting that the photo was only up for eight minutes. As short as the time frame is, it had serious repercussions as Baker's bosses at the "BBC" deemed it worthy of a sack.
A spokesman for the network while acknowledging that the embattled journalist is a brilliant broadcaster, announced that he would no longer work with the broadcasting corporation.
At his sack, the radio personality who already apologized and explained that the tweet was a joke about "Royals and circus animals in posh clothes," lashed out at his former employers.
Just got fired from @bbc5live.— Danny Baker (@prodnose) May 9, 2019
For the record - it was red sauce. Always.
He tweeted about the sack and criticized the "BBC" for hanging him out to dry. He noted that Royal watching is not his thing, but it seems it's his "Turn in the barrel."
Despite his explanations, a lot of people failed to see it as a mistake or a joke. "ITV News" anchor, Charlene White, described it as "An old school prejudice," and " Racism at its peak," and added that for a public figure, Baker's action was unacceptable.
A Twitter user, Alan Mehdizadeh, tweeted :
"Casual racism is alive and well…it's fair to say the monkey in the photo is a lot smarter and better looking than Danny Baker."
Peter C. Barnes, tweeted that while he believes Baker did not intend to be racist and the post was inappropriate, he wonders why Lord Sugar, another "BBC" broadcaster, did not get sacked when he did something similar with the Senegal national football team.
This is the second time the corporation is letting Baker go; the first was in 1997 after he allegedly encouraged his listeners to hassle a referee.