DJ opens up over racist Archie tweet
An axed British radio host has accused the BBC of throwing him under a bus after he compared Prince Harry and Meghan's bi-racial baby Archie to a chimpanzee.
Danny Baker, the former host of BBC's Radio 5 Live Saturday morning show, was sacked in May last year after he tweeted a picture of a couple holding the hands of a suited-up chimpanzee and captioned it "Royal baby leaves hospital".
"The BBC threw me under the bus immediately," Baker told Tracey Ann Oberman's Trolled podcast on Tuesday (local time).
I want to give Danny Baker the benefit of the doubt,but I’m really struggling to find any reasonable explanation for this tweet, now wisely deleted. pic.twitter.com/EtL1JUIu96— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) May 8, 2019
Baker said the BBC turned him into an example and were rude to his wife.
"I had 200 or 300 direct messages from people in show-business. A few said, 'I'd love to come out and support you publicly but I've got a mortgage', and that made me think. But I didn't feel sorry for myself, because I shouldn't," he said.
The former radio host told the Trolled podcast that it was "the most revolting, terrible time" but "everything I got I deserved".
Within minutes Baker's friends reminded him Archie was bi-racial and the broadcaster deleted the tweet, but the damage was already done.
Hours later, the BBC had fired him, accusing him of a "serious error of judgment" and said Baker's values no longer aligned with the company.
Baker claimed his axing from BBC was because he "never had a great relationship" with the corporation's bosses because he hadn't gone to university like the rest of them.
He said his path to redemption had also been made difficult because he refused to pen something like a "misery memoir" about the reaction to his tweet.
"People think you're being deflective and arrogant," he said.
Baker, 62, denied suggestions the tweet was racist despite the chimpanzee comparisons, saying he had no idea Archie was bi-racial.
The broadcaster explained the context behind the tweet, describing his idea of a "lousy TV show" where famous people were monkeys.
Baker told the podcast the tweet was "the most outrageously catastrophic mistake, born of something so trivial, and the consequences of it so disastrous".
"In attempting to lampoon privilege and the news cycle I went to a file of goofy pictures and saw the chimp dressed as a Lord and thought, 'That's the one!'
"I presume that 40 per cent of the internet thinks Baker is OK, the other 60 per cent think that f**ker should've died of cancer when he had the chance," he said.