The BBC has said that Jo Brand’s recent ‘battery acid’ comments on a Radio 4 show were “not intended to be taken seriously,” following suggestions that she incited violence.
Brand, who was speaking on Radio 4’s Heresy after protesters threw milkshake over Nigel Farage and several far-right European election candidates, including UKIP’s Tommy Robinson, said: “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?”
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She continued: “That’s just me. I’m not going to do it. It’s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.”
In a statement, the BBC has said that the comments made on Heresy were “deliberately provocative” but not to be taken seriously.
“Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative and go against societal norms but are not intended to be taken seriously,” a BBC spokesperson said.
However, Farage has claimed that the comment was an “incitement of violence” and that “the police need to act,” while Piers Morgan said the comments were “disgusting”.
Disgusting. This is an incitement for people to throw acid at politicians. Shame on you, Jo Brand. https://t.co/P5XSF1Nq3r
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 12, 2019
However, various other public figures, including Only Connect’s Victoria Coren Mitchell, have defended Brand.
“Nigel! I’m genuinely disappointed; we don’t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes,” Cohen Mitchell wrote on Twitter.
Nigel! I’m genuinely disappointed; we don’t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes. https://t.co/9Ya7THiAmU
— Victoria Coren Mitchell (@VictoriaCoren) June 12, 2019
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