Danny Baker issued several apologizes for his “stupid unthinking gag,” which he claims was not meant to be racist.
The uproar was sparked when Baker tweeted a black and white photo of a well-dressed man and woman holding hands with a chimpanzee wearing a bowler hat and jacket, Newsweek reports.
“Royal baby leaves hospital,” Baker captioned the image and folks immediately called him out for the distasteful “joke.”
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Danny Baker gag. Seems people refuse to get the *cheeky little monkey* royal baby gag. pic.twitter.com/AIOUuuo4ey
— LangleyBristol (@LangleyBristol) May 9, 2019
After fierce backlash from folks who consider it offensive that Britain’s first royal mixed-race baby is compared to a monkey, the 61-year-old deleted the tweet and apologized.
“Sorry my gag pic of the little fella in the posh outfit has whipped some up,” Baker wrote. “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.”
But fans of the royal couple were not having it and continued to slam him in the comments — prompting Baker to issue several more apology tweets.
“Once again. Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier. Was supposed to be joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte.”
The next day, he said several reporters came to speak to him about the tweet.
Casual racism is alive & well.
‘Celebrity’ Danny Baker depicts the royal baby Sussex as a monkey. Excellent. We’ve come so far.
It’s fair to say the monkey in the photo is a lot smarter than Danny Baker, and a lot better looking, too. pic.twitter.com/t6OFFR5wxW
— Alan Mehdizadeh (@alanmehdizadeh) May 8, 2019
“Here we go. Opened door, grinning Mail hack,” Baker wrote. “’Do you think black people look like monkeys?’ Any other time you’d knock someone right on their arse for saying that. No mate. Gag pic. Posh baby chimp. Alerted to circs. Appalled. Deleted. Apologised. He asks again! #MailonRacism.
“Now Sky at the door,” he added. “Would have used same stupid pic for any other Royal birth or [British politician Boris Johnson] kid or even one of my own. It’s a funny image. (Though not of course in that context.) Enormous mistake, for sure. Grotesque. Anyway, here’s to ya Archie, Sorry mate.”
Then came the announcement that he BBC canned his ass.
“Just got fired from @bbc5live,” he added.
“This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” a BBC spokesman said in a statement. “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”
Many who criticized Baker’s joke did not buy his claims that he failed to see its racist connotations.
“So not only does Danny Baker post an image comparing a baby [with] 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’,” Journalist Afua Hirsch tweeted. “Classic example of blaming those of us who call out racism for its existence.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first appearance with their baby at the St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, confirming his name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
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. pic.twitter.com/QxTPLeD8yl
— Simon Lancaster (@bespokespeeches) May 9, 2019