BBC host Naga Munchetty breached BBC guidelines by criticising US president Donald Trump of perceived racism, the broadcasting corporation’s complaints unit has ruled.
A BBC spokeswoman said on Wednesday (25) the corporation’s Executive Complaints Unit [ECU] had ruled that “while Ms Munchetty was entitled to give a personal response to the phrase ‘go back to your own country’ as it was rooted in her own experience, overall her comments went beyond what the guidelines allow for”.
Condemning Trump’s comments urging certain female Democrats to “go back” to their own countries, Munchetty shared her struggles of being a woman of colour.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast on July 17, she 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.
“Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”
“I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s okay to skirt the lines with using language like that,” she told co-presenter Dan Walker.
Her comments followed Trump asking Democrat politicians Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib to go back to their where they came from.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he wrote on Twitter on 14 July.
Several journalists have tweeted their disapproval of the ECU’s ruling.
Defending Munchetty, Morgan wrote: “Since the BBC will gag my breakfast show rival @BBCNaga from saying anything about this, allow me: it’s bloody ridiculous.
“Her words were powerful & necessary. Shameful censorship.”
BBC correspondent Sangita Myska tweeted: “Right now, there is a lot of bewilderment among BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] staff”, adding “there is unique self-censoring that BAMEs do across all industries & workplaces”.