‘We made a mistake’: BBC finally APOLOGISES after social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin said ‘n****r’ in news report about hit-and-run attack on black NHS worker
- Social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin said highly-offensive term on July 29
- Tony Hall said they ‘made a mistake’ and ‘should have taken different approach’
- More than 18,000 people complained to the BBC after the broadcast was made
The BBC has finally apologised nearly two weeks after a white presenter said ‘n****r’ in a news report.
More than 18,000 people complained to the BBC after social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin said the highly-offensive term while covering a racist hit-and-run attack on a black NHS worker on July 29.
And now, 11 days after the initial report was made, the broadcaster’s director-general Lord Tony Hall said they ‘made a mistake’ and ‘should have taken a different approach’.
Lord Hall said in an email sent to all BBC staff: ‘This morning I brought together a group of BBC colleagues to discuss our news coverage of the recent shocking attack on an NHS worker. I wanted us to look at the issues raised by the reporting and the strength of feeling surrounding it.
Fiona Lamdin, left, used a racially offensive slur during a news broadcast on July 29
Viewers were warned ahead of the broadcast about the racially offensive language
‘We are proud of the BBC’s values of inclusion and respect, and have reflected long and hard on what people have had to say about the use of the n-word and all racist language both inside and outside the organisation.
‘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.
‘Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.
‘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.
‘Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here. It is important for us to listen – and also to learn. And that is what we will continue to do.’
Social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin used the offensive term when covering the collision between a Honda Accord and a 21-year-old man in Bristol.
The car was said to have deliberately hit the victim as he left Southmead Hospital after a shift last Wednesday.
Horrified witnesses said he was flung from the pavement into a nearby garden as two thugs reportedly hurled racist abuse at him.
Social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin used the offensive language when covering a collision between a Honda Accord and a 21-year-old man (pictured) in Bristol
Lamdin shocked viewers during the 10.30am clip for BBC Points West when she said: ‘Just to warn you, you’re about to hear highly offensive language.’
She added: ‘Because as the men ran away, they hurled racial abuse, calling him a n*****.’
BBC guidance says strong language should not be used before the 9pm watershed, but ‘n****r’ is usually seen as too rude to ever air.