BBC apologises for using n-word in report on racist attack after 18,000 complaints

THE BBC has apologised for the n-word in a report on a racist attack, after it led to more than 18,000 complaints.

Director-general Tony Hall acknowledged a mistake had been made when reporting an attack on the attack on musician K-Dogg.


The row erupted after BBC social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin used the N-word when reporting on an attack on musician K-Dogg.

The story ran on the BBC News Channel as well as local news programme Points West on July 29 and the use of the slur was supported by the family of the victim.

But later that day the broadcaster stopped running the report after furious viewers blasted the language on social media.

The corporation has since received a total of 18,656 complaints and in an email to all BBC staff, Lord Hall acknowledged the "the strength of feeling' surrounding the report.

"We are proud of the BBC's values of inclusion and respect, and have reflected long and hard on what people have had to say about the use of the n-word and all racist language both inside and outside the organisation," 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.

"Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here. It is important for us to listen – and also to learn. And that is what we will continue to do."

Thugs, wearing coronavirus masks to conceal their identity, used the vehicle “as a weapon” to ram the 21-year-old K-Dogg while he was walking home from work at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

They then hurled racist abuse at him before leaving him injured on the ground with a broken leg, nose and cheekbone.

Introducing an interview with one of the first people on the scene, Ms Lamdin said: “Just to warn you, you’re about to hear highly offensive language because as the men ran away they hurled racial abuse, calling him a n*****.”

The reporter was blasted on social media with people “flabbergasted” and “highly offended” by the “disgusting” language.

The use of the word also led to 1Xtra DJ Sideman quitting the BBC.

Sideman, real name David Whitely, said in a statement issued this afternoon the "action and the defence of the action feels like a slap in the face of our community".

The corporation initially said the decision was “editorially justified”and was made by “senior editorial figures”.

“The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence.

“The victim’s family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public."

TV historian Lucy Worsley used the same the racial slur on the BBC while reciting a quote from John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed Abraham Lincoln.

Worsley was presenting the show American History's Biggest Fibs on BBC Two last Saturday night which covered the confederacy and slavery in the US.

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