BBC responds to calls for Alan Sugar to be fired over racist ‘joke’

"it is meant to be funny ....... for god sake"

The BBC has responded to calls to fire Alan Sugar after he posted a racist “joke” on Twitter.

The entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice took to the social media platform this morning (June 20) to share a photo of the Senegal international football team, crudely Photoshopped to include a selection of sunglasses and handbags. “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi tasking resourceful chaps” reads the caption.

He later apologised, telling his followers: “I misjudged me earlier tweet. It was in no way intended to cause offence, and clearly my attempt at humour has backfired. I have deleted the tweet and am very sorry.”

The star has been roundly criticised for the move, but despite the backlash, he remained steadfast, insisting that “it’s a joke” and “meant to be funny”.

Sugar later tweeted: “Just been reading the reaction to my funny tweet about the guy on the beach in Marbella. Seems it has been interpreted in the wrong way as offensive by a few people. Frankly I cant see that I think it’s funny. But I will pull it down if you insist.”

Now, the BBC has responded to the controversy via the BBC Press Office Twitter account. In a short statement, they wrote: “Lord Sugar has acknowledged this was a seriously misjudged tweet, and he is in no doubt about our view on this. It’s right he’s apologised unreservedly.”

Some Twitter users weren’t happy with the network’s response. @VasBlackwood wrote: “So even the BBC Still don’t get it? Roseanna Barr got sacked. Maybe if we had more people of Colour in Management at the BBC Sugar would have been sacked.”

@RaymondDelauney asked: “Presumably Alan Sugar will now face the same penalty as Reggie Yates did for Top Of The Pops?” Yates, who usually presented the TOTP specials over Christmas, was not part of the programming last year after making “ill-considered remarks” about Jewish people in an interview.

@Huddleboard responded: “Unacceptable. This is nascent acceptance of racism and not how I want you to spend the money you menace from me.” See those and more reactions below.

Earlier this year, Sugar was caught out by a spoof article claiming Taylor Swift has a swastika tattooed on her face.

Satirical news site The Onion published a story with the headline “Taylor Swift grateful Kanye West controversy taking heat off new swastika tattoo”. The “news in photos” article comprised of a photoshopped image of the singer with a big, black swastika covering her left cheek.

“Eh I don’t get this,” Sugar wrote on Twitter, quoting the publication’s piece. “Can someone explain is she making a statement or what?”

Some of his followers were also caught out by the satirical tone, with one responding: “It defies me, Lord Sugar! I can only say that if there’s some supportive message in there, it’s lost on me! Thoroughly tasteless. Corbyn would probably like it.”

“I doubt she knows what she’s doing either,” another added. “Seeking attention!”