Sideman quits Radio 1Xtra over BBC’s use of racial slur

"This is an error of judgement where I can't just smile with you through the process"

1Xtra DJ Sideman has quit the station following the BBC‘s use of the N-word in a recent news report.

Sideman, whose real name is David Whitely, posted a video to Instagram describing the broadcaster’s “action and the defence of the action” as “a slap in the face of our community.”

The announcement followed the broadcast of the slur in full during a report of a racist attack in Bristol. Despite generating more than 18,600 complaints, the BBC defended the use of the word.

“I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m about to say and what it means,” Sideman said in his Instagram video. “And on this occasion I just don’t think that I can look the other way.” Watch the DJ’s full statement below.

“I understand it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, that there will need to be a lot of learning and tearing down of certain building blocks of our society that took a long time to build up,” he continued. “So I’m okay with process. I’m okay with waiting, within reason, for certain things to change.”

“But the BBC sanctioning the N-word being said on national television by a white person is something I can’t rock with. This is an error of judgement where I can’t just smile with you through the process and act like everything is okay.”

Sideman said he was quitting his show with immediate effect.

Sideman
Sideman. Credit: Joseph Okpako/WireImage

The announcement has been commended by various industry figures on social media. DJ Charlie Sloth said: “I admire and respect you David! Well done for standing up for what you believe is right! You’re a King!! This world needs people like you!”

BBC Radio London presenter Eddie Nestor described Sideman as a “king” in a tweet, and indicated that he was writing a public letter to the BBC about the incident.

A spokesperson for BBC 1Xtra said: “Sideman is an incredibly talented DJ. Obviously we are disappointed that he has taken this decision.

“We absolutely wish him well for the future. The door is always open for future projects.”

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