It was OK for BBC host Geeta Guru-Murthy to call a Brexit rally “very white,” the BBC itself concluded last month.
Guru-Murthy made her comment Jan. 31 on air and “hundreds of people complained,” according to the Guardian. iMediaEthics has written to the BBC to ask if it has received complaints about the dismissal of the complaints; the BBC declined to comment.
The BBC ruled:
“The presenter’s comment about the crowd being mainly white came when she was interviewing three women who had come to the event. One of them had said she could now, after Brexit, be proud of the Union Jack. Geeta Guru-Murthy used the comment about the ethnicity of the crowd to move the discussion on to immigration and Brexit supporters’ desire for more controls.
“Her question was whether this desire for more immigration controls had the effect of not being welcoming to black and ethnic minority people – which had been an issue that was discussed during and after the referendum campaign and a reasonable question on the night the UK was leaving the EU. So commenting on the ethnic mix of the crowd was giving context to the question. We should point out that none of the three of the women interviewed was unhappy during or after the interview about the line of questioning.”
Last April, UK Channel 4 host Jon Snow commented that he had “never seen so many white people” about a Brexit rally. OfCom, the UK broadcasting regulator, received more than 2,500 complaints about the comment but OfCom found it wasn’t an offensive or racist comment. Regardless, Channel 4 apologized for his “spontaneous” remark.