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The BBC's episode of double standards over antisemitic tropes

A tale of two presenters reveals the corporation's flexible morals in the face of prejudice

    Reggie Yates filing a recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are?
    Reggie Yates filing a recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC)

    BBC presenter Reggie Yates let his mask slip when he was caught perpetuating an antisemitic trope.

    When challenged over his comments that popular black music artists are no longer managed by “some random fat Jewish guy from north-west London”, he said he was “hugely apologetic”.

    That was the end of the matter, according to the BBC.

    But not for the JC.

    The name Logan Sama may mean very little to readers. But he, like Yates, is also a DJ. Until November he was due to host BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Grime show.

    He was dropped by the BBC because he posted offensive tweets which included referring to “militant black women”.

    These posts, dating from between 2011 and 2015, were in the view of the BBC unacceptable. And in the same week Sama was due to host the first edition of his weekly show he issued a statement confirming that the corporation had decided “that I am not suitable to join their network”.

    Here we had a presenter, not as well known as Yates, who was effectively sacked for ignorant and offensive comments he made years before he gained a job at Radio 1Xtra.

    Yet the corporation are unwilling to mete out the same punishment to Yates, a current BBC employee, for remarks which were just as ignorant and offensive and made as a BBC employee.

    When the JC asked about what action the BBC intended to take against Yates, the broadcaster insisted it “did not comment on individual cases.” When asked to explain the disparity in its disciplinary procedures, it ignored our request and did not respond.

    Until last week, when a BBC spokesperson came back with a bland statement: “We take these issues very seriously and Reggie is in no doubt about the BBC’s view of his comments.”

    Fast forward to Monday and Yates has suddenly decided to stand down from hosting a Christmas edition of Top Of The Pops.

    You may ask what made him come to this decision, and why it took so long? But it is too late. The BBC’s double standards are clear.

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