BBC apologises over use of racial slur in news report

After public outcry, British broadcaster expresses regret for ‘creating distress amongst many people’.

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Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it had received hundreds of complaints about the BBC's report [File: Carl Court/Getty Images]

The BBC has issued an apology over the use of a racial slur in a report about a racist attack that sparked public outcry, saying it regretted a mistake that caused many people distress.

The British broadcaster included the word when reporting last month on a violent attack on a young Black man in Bristol, a city in southwest England.

The attackers are reported to have yelled the offensive term as they ran into the 21-year-old with a car.

“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,” Lord Anthony Hall, the director-general of the BBC, wrote in an email sent to all staff on Sunday.

“Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people,” Hall said, according to a report by PA news agency.     

“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,” he wrote. 

The broadcaster initially defended the use of the offensive word on account that it had been done on journalistic grounds. 

But it relented to public pressure amid a public outcry that saw comedian and broadcaster Sideman quit music station BBC 1Xtra

Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it had received hundreds of complaints about the report.

Source: News Agencies