20,000 signatures reached
Stand with Naga Munchetty - Countersign to agree with Lenny Henry and colleagues
1. For the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) to overturn their decision that Naga Munchetty broke the broadcaster’s editorial guidelines;
2. For BBC Management to give full support to journalists and acknowledge there can be no expectation of “impartiality” over expressions and experiences of racism;
3. For the bodies that deal with complaints about broadcasting, such as the ECU and Ofcom, to be clearer about how they research and come to their decisions, and make sure there is a diverse group of people making decisions like this.
Why is this important?
BBC Breakfast host, Naga Munchetty, was found to have broken the corporation’s editorial rules following her criticism of Donald Trump for telling politicians of colour to “go home”.
Racism is not a valid opinion which you can have an “impartial” stance on. For communities and people who experience racist abuse – including Munchetty – being expected to treat racist ideas as somehow valid can have a devastating effect on their dignity.
Along with many other celebrities and campaigners, we believe that the BBC’s decision to uphold the complaint made against Munchetty is deeply flawed, potentially illegal and goes against the spirit and purpose of public broadcasting. The BBC’s current position will also have a huge effect on future diversity within the BBC, to suggest that future BAME broadcasters will be hired at the BBC, providing that they remain “impartial” about how they feel about their experiences of racism is ludicrous.