BBC presenter sacked over 'racist' royal baby photo

BBC radio host fired for using a chimpanzee photo in a tweet about the newborn son of duke and duchess of Sussex.

    Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor [Dominic Lipinski via Getty Images]
    Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor [Dominic Lipinski via Getty Images]

    A BBC journalist has been fired for using a picture of a chimpanzee in a tweet about the royal baby born to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and her husband Prince Harry.

    Danny Baker, a broadcaster on BBC Radio 5 Live, was sacked on Thursday after posting an image on Twitter of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes and the caption: "Royal baby leaves hospital."

    The tweet came on Wednesday, the same day Harry and Meghan posed for photos with their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. 

    "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," a spokesperson from the BBC said.

    Baker, 61, later deleted the post and apologised for any offence caused, but was still fired on Thursday morning.

    "Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier. Was supposed to be a joke about royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys and race, so rightly deleted," Baker said in a statement on Twitter.

    "Enormous mistake, for sure. Grotesque. Anyway, here's to ya Archie, Sorry mate," he said.

    Since then, he lashed out at the media corporation, arguing he did not realise the connotations of the image he posted.

    Baker accused the BBC of "throwing him under the bus" after accusing him of intentionally being racist, explaining in an interview with LBC Radio that "it was put up there as a joke about class. It was supposed to be preposterous about toffs leaving. The idea that there was any racial basis for it, it came out of my own ignorance".

    "I curdled that I thought anyone could have thought that was the intent behind that photo," he added.

    Many public figures, however, supported the BBC's decision, calling Baker's photo unacceptable and offensive as Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, is African American.

    Baby Archie was introduced to his great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, on Wednesday.

    Harry and Meghan posted an Instagram picture of the meeting, which also included Meghan's mother, who is staying with the royal couple.

    SOURCE: News agencies