British presenter Danny Baker has been sacked by the BBC after posting a picture of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee and the words “Royal Baby leaves hospital.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry – the duke and duchess of Sussex – showed off their newborn son to the media for the first time Wednesday. The baby, whom they have named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is seventh in line to the throne. Markle is biracial, and her mother, Doria Ragland, who was shown in some of the photos released by the family, is African-American.
Baker denied that his tweet, which he has deleted, was racist, and apologized for what he said was a misinterpreted joke about “Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes.”
He was promptly fired by the BBC on Thursday. Baker has a show on BBC radio and has made numerous TV appearance over the years on TV in Britain, where he is a household name. A Jeff Pope sitcom for ITV, “Cradle to the Grave,” was based upon Baker’s life.
A BBC spokesman confirmed that Baker had been let go. “This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” the spokesman said. “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”
Baker continued to defend himself on Twitter before being fired. “Would have used same stupid pic for any other Royal birth or Boris Johnson kid or even one of my own,” he tweeted. “It’s a funny image. (Though not of course in that context.) Enormous mistake, for sure. Grotesque. Anyway, here’s to ya Archie, Sorry mate.”
He then announced on Twitter that he had been sacked, and angrily called the decision “a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity.” He said the pubcaster “took a tone that said I actually meant that ridiculous tweet and the BBC must uphold blah blah blah. Literally threw me under the bus. Could hear the suits knees knocking.”