Reggie Yates has stepped down from hosting this year’s Top of the Pops Christmas special following a remark he made about Jewish music managers which he has since admitted “reinforced offensive stereotypes”.
Speaking on the Halfcast Podcast last month, Yates said it was “great” to see grime artists who are no longer managed by “some random fat Jewish guy from north west London”.
The comments sparked a social media backlash, with many accusing Yates of anti-Semitism.
Yates has now announced that he has “taken the decision to step down from hosting Top Of The Pops this year”, which he was due to present alongside Fearne Cotton. The duo started working together on the music show in 2003.
He wrote: “On a recent podcast, during a discussion about grime artists, I made some ill-considered remarks which have hurt many people.
“I can see clearly that the words I used reinforced offensive stereotypes, and that there is no context that would justify such remarks.
“My comments are no reflection on how I truly feel, and I would like to apologise unreservedly to the Jewish community, people in the music industry and anyone else I have offended.
“This has been, and continues to be a huge learning experience for me, and on reflection I have taken the decision to step down from hosting Top Of The Pops this year.”
In the podcast interview, Yates said to DJ Chuckie Lothian: “The thing that makes it great about this new generation of artists is that they ain’t signing to majors.
“They’re independent, they’re not managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren.”
Yates then referred to the popular grime stars Wretch, Stormzy, Skepta as examples of people who “we’ve all known, that we’ve all come up with”.
“So it’s amazing to see now the example isn’t get hot and then give all of your publishing to these idiots. Or go and give all of your rights to these dickheads over here,” he added.
“It’s now get hot, bring the family in, keep the family close, and win with your people. That’s the example now in music.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “We take these issues very seriously and Reggie is in no doubt about the BBC’s view of his comments”.