BBC boss overturns controversial Naga Munchetty decision

The Canary

BBC director-general Tony Hall has reviewed and reversed the controversial Naga Munchetty ruling.

The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) ruled that the BBC Breakfast host had breached editorial guidelines when she condemned comments from Donald Trump telling US politicians of colour to “go back” to their own countries.

However, Lord Hall said in an email to staff that he had personally reviewed the ruling. He stressed:

I don’t think Naga’s words were sufficient to merit a partial uphold of the complaint around the comments she made

In a July 17 broadcast, Munchetty had said that “every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism”, adding: “I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

After being probed by her co-host Dan Walker for her thoughts, Munchetty said she was “absolutely furious a man in that position thinks it’s OK to skirt the lines by using language like that”.

The ECU ruling sparked a backlash, with many expressing their outrage at the decision.

Sir Lenny Henry and Krishnan Guru-Murthy were among a group of Black and Asian journalists and broadcasters who called for the BBC to reverse its ruling.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was also among those to comment, saying that Munchetty “stated a fact” and urging the BBC to “explain this astonishing decision”.

Lord Hall said in his email that the ruling had “sparked an important debate about racism and its interpretation”.

He continued by stressing:

I have looked carefully at all the arguments that have been made and assessed all of the materials.

I have also examined the complaint itself. It was only ever in a limited way that there was found to be a breach of our guidelines. These are often finely balanced and difficult judgements.

But, in this instance, I don’t think Naga’s words were sufficient to merit a partial uphold of the complaint around the comments she made. There was never any sanction against Naga and I hope this step makes that absolutely clear.

He also said Munchetty was “an exceptional journalist and presenter”, adding “I am proud that she works for the BBC”.

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  • Show Comments
    1. BBC boss overturns controversial Naga Munchetty decision
      GOOD NEWS.
      The B.B.C. bosses must lean we people in U.K. still have
      freedom of speech plus rights in U.K./Wales/N/Ireland/Scotland
      This is until Oct D/Day (leaving E.U. mess)
      Then Boris + Tory Minister could or maybe strip our right of way to freedom of speech plus our right in over places as well.
      To all Voter of all parties just remember the latter in this post
      will or could start unfolding on us voter + Migrant people if Tory stay in power after new G.E. is held.
      Remember this true. Fact’ Boris as already broken the laws of parliament Plus our lands, Therefore, Boris will have No problem in taking our rights away + that of Migrant people living here in U.K. now fully!
      If Tory party stay in power after new G.E. time frame possibly in 2019 So in new G.E. I politely say to all voter watch what you vote for as after we leave E.U. mess they will have No say in helping us out with laws that Tory party rich members + funders make up
      To remove our rights plus freedom of speech remember this voter,
      We free voters have predicted this MAY unfold O.K.

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