‘We do not all look the same’: BBC presenter criticises News at 10 for using LeBron James footage in Kobe Bryant tribute

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read

A BBC presenter has criticised her own employers for mistakenly using footage of LeBron James in a news report on the death of former basketball star Kobe Bryant.

Dotty, also known as Amplify Dot, called out the corporation on The Breakfast Show on Radio 1Xtra, saying the error was “unforgivable”.

She criticised the BBC during the Trashbag Tuesday segment of her show.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant, 41, was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others when their helicopter crashed in Southern California on Sunday morning.

BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Dotty used her show to criticise the corporation (Picture: @AmplifyDot/Twitter)
BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Dotty used her show to criticise the corporation (Picture: @AmplifyDot/Twitter)

The BBC report on Bryant’s death in its News At Ten programme on Sunday mistakenly included footage of basketball superstar James, who currently plays for the Lakers.

Dotty, whose real name is Ashley Charles, said: “You leave me no choice, BBC. Today in the Trashbag – BBC News at 10, and I’m going to tell you why.

A screengrab of footage broadcast by the BBC of LeBron James in its report on Kobe Bryant's death (Picture: BBC)
A screengrab of footage broadcast by the BBC of LeBron James in its report on Kobe Bryant's death (Picture: BBC)

“They used footage of LeBron James in a feature on Kobe Bryant and it is unforgivable.

“We do not all look the same, our faces are not interchangeable.”

Read more

‘We will weep forever’: NBA mourns death of basketball great Kobe Bryant

Jack Nicholson gives rare interview to pay tribute to late friend Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant dead: How the Lakers legend became an all-time great

After the mistake was made, using footage of James playing for the LA Lakers with his name on his shirt clearly on display, the BBC apologised.

Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten, apologised for the mistake and blamed "human error".

He tweeted: "In tonight's coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report.

"We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme."

However, Dotty said: “There is no excuse for this error, we can’t just write it off as incompetence – not today.”

Mar 10, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) guards Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) on the court in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James, left, and Kobe Bryant were opponents in an NBA game in 2016 (Picture: Reuters)

She added: “I’ll tell you why. You would not confuse Messi with Ronaldo. You would not confuse Nadal with Federer. You would not confuse Schumacher with Jensen Button.

“So why always us, I ask? Even when the name is on the back of the jersey, you make the mistake.

“I’ll say it again, it’s unforgivable. And I’ll tell you why mistakes like this are bad. Because they divert the conversation.

“At a time when we should be mourning and celebrating the life of a legacy, the conversation becomes about an error that the BBC made.

“So, we’ve got to do better lads, and don’t just apologise, improve.”

Several Twitter users praised Dotty for criticising her own employers.

One user, @SilvanaKroni, wrote: “Holding the BBC accountable for their epic mistake while presenting her BBC radio show live on air. Iconic.”

Another, @jam_sharifff, said: “HUGE RESPECT to @AmplifyDot for bringing up the BBC News error on @1Xtra”.

On Monday, Labour MP David Lammy was one of many who criticised the BBC. He tweeted: “Kobe Bryant and LeBron James don't even look similar.

“If the BBC hired more black producers and editors, appalling mistakes like this simply would not happen.”