Danny Baker has apologised for an ‘unthinking gag’ he made about the Royal baby, after it was branded ‘racist’ and ‘vile’ on social media.
As the world geared up to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle introduce their newborn son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor to the world yesterday (8 May), the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter took to Twitter to share a black-and-white image of a man and woman holding the hands of a chimpanzee dressed in children’s clothing.
Alongside the photograph, the former I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! contestant wrote: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
His followers were quick to claim that “if a monkey is the first thing you ‘think’ about regarding a mixed race baby, you’ve got issues.”
Others called for the 61-year-old to be sacked, suggesting that there is “far too much tolerance of racism” throughout the UK and that, if we don’t attempt to stamp it out, “the country is really in danger of slipping into a murky and ignorant abyss made up of xenophobia and insensitivity.”
Another said: “Astonishing Danny Baker could think even for a second this tweet was ok. Tropes like ‘black people are apes’ still dominate everyday racist discourse, penetrating the collective conscious, with direct consequences for how we all think, feel and act.”
But Baker insists that his ‘joke’ - which has since been removed from his account - was misunderstood.
Responding to the backlash, he said: “Sorry my gag pic of the little fella in the posh outfit has whipped some up.
“Never occurred to me because, well, mind not diseased. Soon as those good enough to point out its possible connotations got in touch, down it came. And that’s it. Now stand by for sweary football tweets.”
Later, he took to Twitter once more to explain himself further, claiming that he was drawing reference between the British royal family and “circus animals in posh clothes” but that that failed to come across.
So not only does Danny Baker post an image comparing a baby w African heritage to an ape, but he has the audacity to say problem is that those of us who point out how racist it is have “diseased minds”. Classic example of blaming those of us who call out racism for its existence pic.twitter.com/6gtKMpaHZY
— Afua Hirsch (@afuahirsch) May 8, 2019
“Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier. Was interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte. Also, guessing it was my turn in the barrel.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their “bundle of joy” on 6 May. After a couple of days of getting used to being new parents, the loved-up couple took him to meet Markle’s mother Doria Ragland and Prince Harry’s grandparents, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II.