BBC broadcaster Danny Baker, who was fired from BBC Radio 5 Live after posting what critics said was a racist tweet, says he told the head of the station to “f*** off.”
A few hours after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son was born, Baker posted an old-time, black and white photo on Twitter showing an aristocratic couple holding hands along with a chimpanzee in a suit and wrote, “Royal Baby leaves hospital.”
There was one big problem: Markle’s mother is African American. It didn’t take long for cries of racism to emerge.
For his part, Baker quickly took the post down, apologized and said he meant the tweet only as a joke about the royals and the effusive coverage of the baby.
“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,” he wrote.
Then Baker got sacked.
The BBC said the broadcaster’s tweet “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 statement said, calling the tweet a “serious error of judgement.”
But at that point, Baker was no longer so apologetic. “Baker said he had became infuriated when told he had ‘meant’ to be racist by tweeting the picture of a chimpanzee in a hat being led out of a hospital by human parents,” the Daily Mail wrote.
Baker told MailOnline: ‘Basically they said to me ‘you meant that tweet’ I said to them ‘you think so?’
‘And I said, ‘well f*** you and f*** off’.
‘So, by mutual agreement my employment was terminated. ‘They did not give me a chance to apologise.
‘But I’m not very temperate anyway when people want to get rid of me. There’s no conversation.
‘But for them to throw us under the bus….’
Then Baker went back on Twitter to tell his 506,000 followers what happened.
“The call to fire me from BBC Radio 5 Live was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity. 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. #F—em,” he wrote.
Baker posted again after a reporter from Sky News dropped by.
“Now Sky at the door. 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 wrote.
And he posted another when a Mail reporter knocked on the door.
“Here we go. Opened door, grinning Mail hack. ‘Do you think black people look like monkeys?’ Any other time you’d knock someone right on their arse for saying that. No mate. Gag pic. Posh baby chimp. Alerted to circs. Appalled. Deleted. Apologised. He asks again! #MailonRacism.”
And his very latest tweet is perfect.