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BBC Host Fired for 'Unthinking Gag' About Baby Archie

Danny Baker tweeted pic that showed new royal baby as a chimpanzee
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2019 8:07 AM CDT
In this May 13, 2013, file photo, Danny Baker poses for a photo in London.   (Yui Mok/PA via AP, file)

(Newser) – While the world gobbled up news about the new royal baby this week, a BBC broadcaster had another way of heralding the arrival of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor—and he's since been fired for it. The BBC reports that after the announcement of Archie's birth, Danny Baker, host of the BBC radio show 5 Live, tweeted a photograph of a couple holding hands with a suit-clad chimpanzee, along with the caption: "Royal baby leaves hospital." That led to cries of racism; Meghan Markle's mother is African-American. Baker took down the tweet (the Telegraph has a pic) and apologized, but the BBC canned him after the backlash, with a rep calling his post a "serious error of judgment." Baker says that he was trying to make a statement about class, not race, and that "intent has got to be everything," per the Mirror.

He also says he took down the tweet as soon as it was pointed out some could interpret it as racist, calling it a "stupid unthinking gag." But while Baker, 61, has apologized to little Archie, he has plenty of ire reserved for the BBC, saying the broadcaster's phone call to fire him was a "masterclass of pompous faux-gravity." "Literally threw me under the bus," he tweeted Thursday. He says he would have used the "same stupid pic" for "any other Royal birth or Boris Johnson kid or even one of my own." The BBC notes Baker has been thrown off his own show before—in 1997, for telling soccer fans to harass a referee he thought made a bad call—and was the first person kicked out of the UK version of the reality show I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here. (Read more Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor stories.)

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