John Humphrys’ latest performance leaves people asking when he’s finally going to retire

John Humphrys and the Today programme logo
Emily Apple

John Humphrys’ latest performance on BBC Radio 4‘s Today programme has left listeners asking when he’s finally going to retire.

Humphrys announced his retirement in February. In fact, he stated that he should have left years ago. Unfortunately, he’s still on our airwaves. And after his sexist and rude tirade on 14 August, many people are questioning why our supposed public service broadcaster is allowing him to continue.

“Bit silly, isn’t it?”

New rules from the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) ban ads from “limiting how people see themselves and how others see them and the life decisions they take”. Under these rules, two ads have just been banned for using gender stereotypes.

So Humphrys interviewed Jess Tye, investigations manager at the ASA. The interview started aggressively with Humphrys’ first question:

A bit silly isn’t it?

In the occasional sentences Humphrys allowed Tye to complete, she showed the decision was far from silly. Tye said that the decision was taken after “extensive” study of “academic research”. And she explained that there was:

a series of scenes that showed predominately men in very adventurous scenarios as scientists…being very brave – all the kind of stereotypes you would traditionally associate with men and then the only women in that ad…were shown… sleeping and then right at the end of the ad, there was a woman sitting next to a pram.

Tye said that this type of stereotyping ‘affects aspirations’ and ‘affects career choices’.

Constant interruptions

Humphrys’ abrasive attitude continued throughout the interview with Tye barely able to get a full sentence out during the segment. He interrupted Tye on at least six occasions during the four-minute interview. On several occasions, Tye was only able to get two or three words out before Humphrys leapt in again.

The interview led former green leader Natalie Bennett to tweet:

Humphrys also refused to accept there was anything wrong with gender stereotypes:

It gets worse…

But if Humphrys’ hectoring and interruptions weren’t bad enough, he topped it off with a dollop of his own prejudice and sexism. Admitting that “maybe I’ll be attacked for this”, he stated: [1:26]

Because a woman looking after a baby is by any estimate, any estimate, a very very good and desirable thing for society. And by and large – and this is – maybe I’ll be attacked for this – but by and large they do a better job of it than men. At least in most of our experience I would have thought….Again I hate to use the expression because they say you’re not allowed to – but isn’t that common sense?

Green MEP Molly Scott Cato put out a call for men to tell Humphrys they are just as good at caregiving:

Others called on Humphrys to “get out of your patriarchal bubble!”:

Others called the interview “disgusting”:

Time to retire

Several people asked why Humphrys is still on the air:

Although, as one person pointed out, this shouldn’t be about age:

Meanwhile, other people pointed out why 800,000 listeners potentially deserted the Today show last year:

Enough is enough. Humphrys shouldn’t be allowed the dignity of retirement. Performances such as this one show that not only should he be sacked, he should have been sacked years ago.

Featured image via YouTube – BBC NewsnightScreengrab – BBC

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