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BBC radio host fired over racist tweet comparing royal baby to a chimp

Posted: 11:25 AM, May 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-09 11:25:13-04

BBC radio broadcaster Danny Baker has been fired after posting a racist tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new baby.

On Wednesday, the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter tweeted a black and white photo of a man and woman holding hands with a chimpanzee in a suit and a top hat, with the caption, “Royal baby leaves hospital.”

Amid widespread accusations of racism, Baker deleted the tweet and said he was sorry the “gag” had “whipped some up.” He claimed the connotations had not occurred to him because his “mind (is) not diseased.”

In a second message, Baker said that the tweet was “supposed to be a joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte.” On Thursday, the broadcaster said he made an “enormous mistake.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody. Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”

Baker responded defiantly to the decision, saying on Twitter that the calls for his dismissal were a “masterclass in pompous faux-gravity” and that the BBC “literally threw me under the bus.”

Prince Harry and Meghan’s newborn son,  Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor,  was born early on Monday morning. On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex presented the baby, their first, to the world in front of selected media.

In a significant milestone for British society, the newborn has made history by becoming the first biracial child in the royal family.

Since the announcement of her pregnancy, Meghan has been  a target of racist abuse  across social media.

In March, Kensington Palace staff announced they would devote more resources to deleting comments targeting the Duchess of Sussex, and to blocking abusive Twitter and Instagram accounts. The royal household also issued a set of guidelines for people engaging with its social media channels.