Question Time racism row as BBC deletes clip of Fiona Bruce referring to audience member as ‘black guy’ while presenter apologises for ‘causing offence’
- Fiona Bruce referred to Question Time audience member as a ‘black guy’
- She and BBC have apologised after racism row was sparked over her description
Topical news panel show Question Time has been thrown into a race row after the BBC deleted a clip of Fiona Bruce referring to an audience member as a ‘black guy’.
In Thursday night’s broadcast of the show on BBC One, the host asked a man from the audience to put his question to the panel – but her racial description was edited out when it was uploaded to iPlayer.
Ms Bruce, 59, and the BBC have now apologised for causing offence for her remarks, with the presenter saying it was ‘wrong to identify him as I did’.
There did not appear to be an immediate reaction to her comment by the man in question or anybody else in the audience.
However, the remarks drew fury from some on social media, including former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal, who posted the original clip on X, formerly Twitter, writing: ‘Let’s hear from the “black guy”‘.
She had asked the audience in Wolverhampton: ‘Is it right to ban mobile phones in schools?’
Topical news panel show Question Time has been thrown into a race row after the BBC deleted a clip of Fiona Bruce (pictured) referring to an audience member as a ‘black guy’
In Thursday night’s broadcast of the show on BBC One, the host asked a man (pictured) from the audience to put his question to the panel – but her racial description was edited out when it was uploaded to iPlayer
Fiona Bruce pictured today with a black eye and her arm in a sling after she fell off her horse in a recent accident
The BBC presenter, whose arm was in a sling after she fell off her horse, took a question wearing a ‘colourful top’ and when asking for input from another audience member pointed to a ‘guy there in the middle… the black guy in the middle, yes you, sir.’
No one in the studio made a reaction to the comment and the audience member then asked a question about limiting mobile use in schools as well as government funding.
In the version of the programme uploaded to BBC iPlayer, Bruce says, ‘the guy in the middle, yes you, sir’, with the ‘black guy’ description removed.
The BBC have since confirmed that Ms Bruce’s comment had been edited out and she has since directly apologised to the audience member. The presenter said: ‘I totally understand why my words last night caused offence and I apologise.
‘I have spoken to the audience member directly and explained that usually I can see and describe an item of clothing or otherwise to help sound engineers with a microphone find people in the audience.
‘Last night that was not the case as my view was obscured. In the split second I had, the easiest thing to do would have been to ignore the audience member and move on, but I felt strongly that his voice should be heard.
‘Nonetheless, I feel it was wrong to identify him as I did and that’s why it was removed from the later edited programme.’
Sitting on the panel on last night’s Question Time were (left to right) journalist and author and Tony Parsons, writer Emma Dabiri Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth, host Fiona Bruce, Transport Minister Richard Holden and Iceland supermarket executive Richard Walker
Ms Bruce’s personal apology to the member of the audience is understood to have been positively received
Ms Bruce’s personal apology to the member of the audience is understood to have been positively received.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: ‘We regret the choice of words used to identify the audience member.
‘The intent was to ensure his voice was heard, however we recognise we should not have identified him in this way and apologise for any offence caused.
‘As such the recorded version on iPlayer has been edited to remove this.’
Sitting on the panel on last night’s Question Time were Transport Minister Richard Holden, Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth, writer Emma Dabiri, Iceland supermarket executive Richard Walker and journalist and author Tony Parsons.
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