Fired 'The Apprentice' candidate accuses producers of 'ignorant racism'

Amy West
Fired 'The Apprentice' candidate Souleyman Bah has accused BBC producers of failing to intervene when he experience racism on the BBC show (BBC)
Fired 'The Apprentice' candidate Souleyman Bah has accused BBC producers of failing to intervene when he experience racism on the BBC show (BBC)

Fired The Apprentice candidate Souleyman Bah has accused producers for failing to intervene when he experienced racism on the BBC show.

During a conversation with last year’s winner Sian Gabbidon on her The Wake Up Call podcast, the 20-year-old Paralympian said: “I think there were comments that, you know, yeah... I won’t get into the details of it, but I think it was definitely what it was.

“I will counter that by saying it was ignorance, really. It’s definitely ignorant racism. I think there’s blatant racism and then there’s ignorant racism. I think my beef isn’t with the perpetrator per se; its more for what’s been done about it. It seems that I’m still waiting for the outcome.”

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Before The Apprentice’s current series began airing, 19-year-old contestant Lottie Lion was slammed for allegedly referring to competitor Lubna Farhan - who has Pakistani heritage - as “Gandhi” in a WhatsApp group chat. After Lion became the subject of public backlash on social media, the BBC said “looking into the circumstances regarding a complaint.”

'The Apprentice' stars on Wednesday 2 October at 9pm on BBC One (BBC)
'The Apprentice' head Lord Alan Sugar fired the fourth non-white contestant in a row during last night's episode, promoting further scrutiny from fans (BBC)

"I would say there is truth to [the reports],” Farhan - who was fired in last night’s episode - told The Independent. “However there’s no point me talking about it because it has already been spoken about.”

Farhan is the fourth non-white contestant in a row to have been eliminated from the current series, after Shahin Hassan, Kenna Ngoma and Bah. Many took to Twitter shortly after the results were broadcast to slam Karren Brady, Claude Littner and Lord Alan Sugar for the “trend.”

“#TheApprentice is racist this is the fourth person of colour that has been fired what a complete and utter joke like,” one social media user wrote. “Alan Sugar should have gave Lubnar a chance to prove herself.”

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"4 weeks, 4 candidates of colour fired. Sensing a pattern #TheApprentice,” another added.

“Stop putting contestants of colour on the show to tick a diversity box, only to get rid of them all at the earliest opportunity,” a third tweeted. “Also, what is a racist contestant still doing on the show?”

Read more: Lord Sugar reveals when he will quit 'The Apprentice'

A spokesperson from the show responded to the accusations with a statement that read: “Which candidates return to the boardroom at the end of a task - and are therefore in the firing line - is determined by being on the losing team, and the project manager of that task deciding to take them back into the boardroom.

"The candidate's performance both on the task and in the boardroom are then key to Lord Sugar’s decision.”

The Apprentice continues on Wednesday 30 October at 9pm on BBC One.