BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Dotty Blasts Employers Live On Air For 'Unforgivable' Kobe Bryant Mix-Up

BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Dotty has called out her employers live on air after the News At 10′s “unforgivable” Kobe Bryant mix-up in a report about his death in a helicopter crash

The breakfast show DJ called for the BBC to “do better” after the corporation’s flagship news bulletin mistakenly featured fellow basketball player LeBron James in footage about Kobe’s death on Sunday. 

The BBC issued an on-air apology at the time, before blaming “human error” in a later statement following a large backlash. 

However, Dotty, who presents the weekday breakfast show on Radio 1 sister station 1Xtra, took the BBC to task during an on-air feature called Trash Bag Tuesday. 

She said: “You leave me no choice, BBC. Today in the Trash Bag – BBC News at 10, and I’m going to tell you why. 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. There is no excuse for this error, we can’t just write it off as incompetence – not today.”

She continued: “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 Jenson 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 where 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.”

Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN via Getty Images)

Turning to a co-worker on the show, Dotty added: “Robbie, lock the doors before they pull us off air. This may be the last show I ever do. It was worth it.”

Dotty won swathes of support on social media for speaking out: 

Kobe, a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, died alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others in the incident in California on Sunday morning.

The BBC’s report reflected on the former LA Laker’s prestigious career, but featured LeBron James in action rather than Kobe.

LeBron currently plays for the Lakers, and last weekend overtook Kobe, who retired in 2016, as the third highest all-time NBA points scorer.

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Kobe Bryant and LeBron James pictured on Saturday (Photo: John McCoy via Getty Images)

Addressing the error, Paul Royall, editor of the BBC News Ten, said the report fell below “our usual standards”.

He wrote on Twitter: “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.”


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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.