BBC broadcaster Danny Baker has been fired over his insensitive tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new baby which allegedly compared him to a chimpanzee.
The now-deleted tweet, which has been circulated on social media, showed an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes with the caption: “Royal Baby leaves hospital”. The 61-year-old presented a weekend show on the network. The 5 live presenter was accused of mocking the duchess’s racial heritage, reported BBC.
A BBC spokesperson said: “This was a serious error of judgement.” The corporation added Baker’s tweet “goes against the values we as a station aim to embody. Danny is a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”
After tweeting an apology, calling it the tweet a “stupid unthinking gag pic”, Baker has since taken to social media to criticise the BBC’s decision saying: “The call to fire me… was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity.”
“Took a tone that said I actually meant that ridiculous tweet and the BBC must uphold blah blah blah,” he added. “Literally threw me under the bus. Could hear the suit’s knees knocking.”
Once again. Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier. Was supposed to be joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte.
Also, guessing it was my turn in the barrel. pic.twitter.com/86cQGbAhDc
— Danny Baker (@prodnose) May 8, 2019
Harry and Meghan, whose mother Doria Ragland is African American, revealed on Wednesday as reported by The Sauce that their new son was named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
After the initial backlash on social media on Wednesday, Baker said: “Sorry my gag pic of the little fella in the posh outfit has whipped some up. Never occurred to me because, well, mind not diseased”.
Just before he was sacked, he told his half a million Twitter followers he was doorstepped by reporters at his home, saying he was asked: “Do you think black people look like monkeys?” His tweet added: “No mate. Gag pic. Posh baby chimp. Alerted to circs. Appalled. Deleted. Apologised.”
In the following tweet, he added: “Would have used same stupid pic for any other Royal birth or Boris Johnson kid or even one of my own. It’s a funny image. (Though not of course in that context.) Enormous mistake, for sure. Grotesque. “Anyway, here’s to ya Archie, Sorry mate,” he commented.
However, the sacking by BBC is nothing new to Baker as it’s the second time the controversial presenter has been axed by 5 live and the third time he has left the BBC.
In 1997, he was fired for encouraging football fans to make a referee’s life hell after the official had awarded a controversial penalty in an FA Cup tie. In 2012, two weeks before he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, he was back in the news after an on-air rant in which he resigned and branded his bosses at BBC London “pinheaded weasels” after being asked to move from a weekday programme to a weekend.