UK broadcast regulator OfCom is investigating a BBC host’s disparaging comments about breastfeeding.
OfCom told iMediaEthics by e-mail: “Ofcom is investigating whether the potential for offence caused by the presenter’s comments about breastfeeding were justified by the context.”
Breastfeeding “was OK in the Stone Age when we knew no better…a public area is not the place for it and fellas don’t like it,” he went on. He also say “yummy mummies” wouldn’t breastfeed in public “because they’re very image-conscious and they know it’s not a great look.” He also suggested that “Earth mothers…the ones with the moustaches, the ones who work in libraries” are at fault for public breastfeeding. Dyke and BBC both called his comments “unacceptable” shortly after.
Dyke, a radio DJ, was suspended last month after saying on Radio Solent that breastfeeding is “unnatural” and “has to be stopped,” as iMediaEthics previously reported.
“It was OK in the Stone Age when we knew no better, when people didn’t have their own teeth… but now I just think a public area is not the place for it and fellas don’t like it,” he said.
UK media site the Drum noted that within a week of the suspension, Dyke was back on air. In addition, 32 people filed complaints to OfCom, according to the Drum.
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More than 11,000 people signed a Change.org petition complaining about Dyke’s comments.
The BBC told iMediaEthics by e-mail:
“After some time off air, and following serious consideration Alex Dyke returned to BBC Radio Solent last month. Alex was told in no uncertain terms that his comments were unacceptable, and he has apologised for any offence caused on and off air.”
The BBC and Dyke issued apology statements at the time.
UPDATED: 9/28/2015 2:50 PM EST