Naga Munchetty will face no further action from the BBC after breaching the corporation’s guidelines on impartiality, RadioTimes.com understands.
The BBC received a complaint from a viewer after the Breakfast presenter reacted to comments from US president Donald Trump in which he told “progressive Democrat Congresswomen” to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.
Speaking on the show on 17th July, Munchetty told co-host Dan Walker: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.
“Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean. I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s okay to skirt the lines with using language like that.”
After considering the incident, the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit upheld the complaint saying that although “it was entirely legitimate for Ms Munchetty, when pressed by Mr Walker for a personal response, to reply in terms which reflected her own experience of racism[…] she went on to comment critically on the possible motive for, and potential consequences of, the President’s words. Judgements of that kind are for the audience to make, and the exchange fell short of due impartiality in that respect.”
However, that appears to be an end to the matter with a source telling RadioTimes.com “Naga will not be facing any further action”.
The decision will please many viewers, with a poll of our readers indicating that more than 80 per cent believe the presenter should not have action taken against her.
Munchetty was also backed by MPs including David Lammy, who called the ECU’s decision “appalling” in a Twitter post, and Dawn Butler, who said: “The fact that someone doesn’t realise the comments Trump made are embedded in racism is shocking. Because it is!
“Naga was right to call it out through her own lived experience. I will be writing to BBC News to enquire as to their procedure.”