Saturday, October 10, 2009

Strictly Come Dancing racism row

Strictly Come Dancing has been in the news quite a lot this week following revelations in the News of the World about racist remarks made by Anton du Beke.

On Monday 5 October Newsround reported it like this -

Sonali: Strictly Come Dancing star, Anton du Beke, is in trouble after using a racist word about his dance partner Laila Rouass during rehearsals. He's said he's sorry and insists he's not a racist. Laila says she's accepted the apology and they've moved on. But anti-racism campaigners have called for him to be booted off the show.

A response to complaints from the public was published on 6 October. The BBC said that it "does not condone offensive language in the workplace," and went on to say that the matter had now been dealt with. A statement on behalf of Anton du Beke categorically denied that he was a racist or that he had used racist language. There was, according to Anton's statement, "no racist intent whatsoever."

Surely if Anton's apology was sincere it would have acknowledged that he was being racist and made clear he would be more respectful in the future. Newsround, this afternoon, played a clip in which Anton tweaked his apology.

As you can hear, Anton used the phrase "I am mortified ... " which rather reminded me of the words used by Jonathan Ross when he was in deep water last May (see also blog on 15 June 2009)

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