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Celebrities had a lot to say about the BBC firing Danny Baker from Radio 5 Live, after a tweet of his was slammed for being ‘racist’ yesterday (9 May). Now, comedian Dara Ó Briain has criticised the broadcaster’s decision to drop the DJ.
Moments before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was set to introduce their new son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor to the world, Baker took to Twitter to share an image of a man and a woman, holding the hands of a chimpanzee in a suit.
Alongside it, he wrote: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
The ‘unthinkable gag’ sparked backlash so Baker swiftly deleted it and later, apologised for upsetting people with a “gag pic of the little fella in the posh outfit”.
But the fact that he thought it was okay to post it in the first place, which went “against the values we as a station aim to embody,” was enough to seal his fate at the BBC, a BBC explained.
After the news of his dismissal broke, Ó Briain took to social media to share his thoughts on the matter, saying: “What? Danny Baker got fired? But he immediately apologised and deleted the tweet!
“I mean, literally, in the event of mistakenly causing offence, what else can you do? Genuinely amazed by that.”
His opinion didn’t go down well with his 2.51 million followers. One fan said they were “disappointed” to see him defending the former I’m A Celebrity contestant, adding that Baker’s “excuse [of] ‘it was a posh chimp, and the poshness was the joke’ was pretty f**king thin.”
Gina Yashere, who frequently appears alongside Ó Briain on comedy panel show Mock the Week, argued that it was easier for him to forgive “coz you weren't called monkey & ape every day of your working life.
“Or chased by skinheads making ape noises. He's not an idiot. He knew what the f**k he was posting.”
Another said: “If you are not intelligent enough to know that those types of posts are comments are NEVER acceptable anymore, you don't deserve to keep your media job. It's that simple.”
Seeing the replies, Ó Briain urged that he wasn’t excusing the original tweet.
“The Irish had a century of that monkey s*** too, y’know. Ultimately, though, I’d like that to hope if/when I f*** up, you might accept an apology…
Responding to someone who argued that there’s no way Baker wouldn’t have known how his tweet would be perceived, the presenter said: “I just don’t think Danny is some racist who did that deliberately, no matter how it came out.
What? Danny Baker got fired? But he immediately apologised and deleted the tweet! I mean, literally, in the event of mistakenly causing offence, what else can you do? Genuinely amazed by that.
— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) May 9, 2019
“You say f*** him, I say forgive him. All the best.”
He concluded: “Well that was an exciting day on Twitter; but, genuinely, spoke to loads of cool people and left on good terms with all of them.
“Thanks for the chats everyone. I shall now relax after all this heated debate, by watching lovely calm Arsenal play a serene, relaxing, no-drama match.”