BBC host fired after comparing royal baby to chimpanzee

The cartoon shows a couple with a chimpanzee dressed in a suit and hat, captioned: 'Royal Baby leaves hospital.'

Sara Rubenstein,

Harry and Meghan with Archie.
Harry and Meghan with Archie.
Credit: Reuters

BBC radio host Danny Baker was fired on Thursday after publishing a cartoon of the new British royal baby as a chimpanzee on his Twitter account on Wednesday. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, announced the arrival of their firstborn son on Monday. Their baby, named Archie, is mixed race, since Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, is African-American.

The cartoon, which the 61-year old Baker quickly deleted after it raised an outcry on social media of being racist, showed a couple with a chimpanzee dressed in a suit and hat, captioned: "Royal Baby leaves hospital."

Baker subsequently apologized several times for the cartoon, claiming that his cartoon was not intended to be racist but rather a joke comparing "royals" to circus animals in posh clothes. “Once again. Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier," Baker wrote on Twitter. "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.”

Despite Baker's profuse apologies, BBC fired the award-winning host, comedy writer and journalist.

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

Later, Baker complained that the BBC's decision "was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity."

"[It] took a tone that said I actually meant that ridiculous tweet and the BBC must uphold blah blah blah," Baker said. "Literally threw me under the bus. Could hear the suits' knees knocking."

But later, Baker seemed to have recovered enough from the blow to joke around that he and BBC had terminated by "mutual agreement."

Baker, one of the most popular BBC radio show hosts won Sony Gold awards for his Saturday Morning show on BBC Radio 5 Live in 2011, 2012 and 2014 and also won a Gold Award in 2013.

This isn't is his first controversial statement and in fact, he has been fired by BBC Radio 5 Live once before, when in 1997, he told football bans to make a referee's life hell following a controversial penalty. In 2012, Baker temporarily resigned from the BBC on his own after calling his bosses "pinheaded weasels" for asking him to move his weekday program to the weekend.




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