BBC DJ fired after ‘stupid’ royal baby monkey tweet.
Broadcaster Danny Baker says a tweet he posted about Prince Harry and Meghan’s newborn son using a picture of a monkey was a “stupid thing to put up”, but says the idea he intended to be racist is “grotesque.”
Radio DJ Baker made a joke about the birth, tweeting a black and white photo showing a well-dressed man and woman holding hands with a suited chimpanzee, with the caption: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
Meghan, whose mother is African American, gave birth to her first child on Monday.
Speaking to reporters outside his south-east London home, he said “he had no idea” it was the Duchess of Sussex’s baby, “otherwise you wouldn’t do it.”
The Radio DJ confirmed his sacking in a tweet on Thursday, saying: “Just got fired from @bbc5live. For the record – it was red sauce. Always.”
A BBC spokesman said: “This was a serious error of judgement 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.”
The tweet triggered a backlash and allegations of racism and the radio presenter later deleted the post and apologised.
After announcing he had been fired, Baker criticised the way it was handled by his radio bosses, saying he had been thrown “under a bus”.
“The call to fire me from @bbc5live was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity,” he tweeted.
“Took a tone that said I actually meant that ridiculous tweet and the BBC must uphold blah blah blah. Literally threw me under the bus. Could hear the suits knees knocking.”
And he added: “Now it’s started raining. Perfect.”
In another tweet he said: “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.”
Baker had apologised for the tweet on Wednesday and said in a post: “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 and race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte. Also, guessing it was my turn in the barrel.”
The 61-year-old, who presents a weekly show on BBC Radio 5 Live, apologised again on Wednesday evening, saying the joke was intended to poke fun at the Royal family.
He said: “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.”