In an extraordinary development, the BBC has overturned its decision to uphold a complaint made against Indian-origin presenter Naga Munchetty after she slammed Donald Trump for his racist rants.
In his email to all staff, BBC Director-General Tony Hall wrote, “In this instance, I don’t think Naga’s words were sufficient to merit a partial uphold of the complaint around the comments she made.” Hall said that he had ‘personally’ reviewed the decision of the complaints unit. He reiterated that ‘racism is racism and the BBC is not impartial on the topic.’
The British public broadcaster had last week had performed a spectacular U-turn after it upheld a complaint against Munchetty for breaching its editorial guidelines. Faced with growing outrage from both BBC staff and prominent British journalists, BBC Director-General Tony Hall had publicly backed Munchetty in an all-staff email. Earlier, as many as 40 prominent British journalists had written to Hall urging him to reconsider the BBC’s decision against Munchetty.
Munchetty, who was born to an Indian mother and Mauritian father, had reacted angrily to US President Donald Trump’s tweet against four Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley asking them to ‘go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” All four are US citizens but only Omar was born outside the US.
Munchetty and her co-host Dan Walker were discussing the tweet posted by Trump on their show in July when the latter asked the Indian-origin presenter what she made of the tweet posted by the US President. To which, Munchetty said, “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.” She went on to add, “Now, I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”
Munchetty also said that she was ‘furious. Absolutely furious’ by what Trump had tweeted adding that ‘I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious a man in that position thinks it’s OK to skirt the lines by u