After a ‘gag’ on Twitter saw him accused of racism and insensitivity, Radio 5 Live presenter Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC on Thursday 9 May. Now, other celebrities have taken to Twitter to react to his firing.
As the world looked forward to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry introducing their son and the latest royal baby, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, on Wednesday, Baker took to social media to share an image of a man, woman and a chimpanzee dressed as a human. Alongside it, he wrote: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
"This was a serious error of judgement and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” a BBC spokesperson explained. “Danny's a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us."
Comedian and former Celebs Go Dating contestant London Hughes was glad the network ditched him, detailing how she’d worked with Baker in the past and claimed there’s no way he wouldn’t have known what his ‘racist’ tweet was insinuating.
“No comedian in their right mind could overlook that,” she argued. “That’s not how our brains work. We see a joke from every angle. He knew it was racist, thought it was funny and posted it anyway.”
ITV News anchor Charlene White posted an insightful Twitter thread, saying: “Meghan has been subject to horrific/veiled racist abuse & prejudice online and in print since the start of their relationship. Of which we are ALL aware.
“To post a pic picturing a 3-day old baby of mixed heritage as a monkey, then claim it was a joke? That’s old-school prejudice and racism at its peak.
“And for a trusted broadcaster working at a public service broadcaster to feed that prejudice? It’s unacceptable.
“Those who live in privilege must be held to account.”
And to claim “ignorance”, and give a half-hearted apology - again full of jokey “banter” - despite people highlighting just how clearly offensive it is, is also unacceptable. That’s not the world we live in now. Those who live in privilege must be held to account.
— Charlene White (@CharleneWhite) May 9, 2019
Scottish comedian and writer Limmy simply retweeted and captioned a news article that stated Baker had been sacked with: “David Baker is cancelled.”
Meanwhile, former Red Dwarf star Danny John-Jules alleged that “anyone defending Baker is kidding themselves.”
He continued: "If [you] go around giving it Charlie Potatoes how you're the 'Voice of a Nation' 'Leading Britain's Conversation' WHO the f*** are you and WHICH Britain are you talking about?"
In a stirring piece for Metro UK, actor and activist Kelechi Okafor writes: I am glad Danny Baker has been relieved of his role as a DJ at the BBC because men like him say incredibly racist things frequently and it is explained away.
The IT Crowd actor and former MP Gyles Brandreth took a more magnanimous approach, calling Baker “one of the most decent and delightful guys in the business.”
He added: “When it comes to trying to be funny, everyone makes mistakes. All I know is that Danny Baker is a great broadcaster and a fine writer. I'm honoured to know him.”
In a now-deleted tweet, former I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! contestant Iain Lee said that the BBC "made the wrong decision" and confessed to not only being "gutted" for Baker but "for radio" too.
Following the backlash, Baker has deleted and apologised for the tweet. Once again writing on social media, he said: “Sorry my gag pic of the little fella in the posh outfit has whipped some up. Never occurred to me because, well, mind not diseased.
"Soon as those good enough to point out its possible connotations got in touch, down it came. And that's it."