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Naga Munchetty: Ofcom probes presenter's racism comments as backlash against BBC grows

Ofcom is evaluating the content of a BBC Breakfast Show after the broadcaster censured presenter Naga Munchetty over her comments about Donald Trump.

We have recently received complaints about this program and we are evaluating the content against our own broadcasting rules, ”said an Ofcom spokesperson.

If the regulator finds the broadcaster breached its rules during the assessment, it will launch a formal investigation.

On Wednesday the BBC's Ms Munchetty's own complaints unit had breached its editorial guidelines on impartiality in the program, which was broadcast on 17 July.

The presenter was reprimanded over comments she made about Donald Trump telling four congressmen of color to “go back” to the places they came from.

During a discussion with co-host Dan Walker in July, Ms Munchetty said every time she, as a woman of color, had been told to “go back to where [she] came from ”the exchange was“ embedded in racism ”.

"Now I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean," she added.

When Mr Walker then asked how she felt when hearing the remarks of Ms Munchetty, the President replied: “Furious. Absolutely furious. ”

The broadcaster's decision to censor the present has been widely condemned by its own staff, politicians and celebrities.

Chi Onwurah, a Labor MP, revealed on Friday that she had written to Ofcom “to complain about the BBC's censoring of Naga Munchetty for challenging racism ”.

In her letter Ms Onwurah claims the BBC's The decision is in "direct contradiction with Ofcom's Broadcasting Code."

“You could clarify whether Ms Munchetty was or was not following the Ofcom Broadcasting code [?]The Labor MP asks in her letter.

The broadcaster has declined to comment on Ofcom's announcement.

'C'mon the BBC. This is ridiculous, ”Sajid Javid, the chancellor, said on Twitter. "Perfectly understandable why she said what she did."

“What [Naga Munchetty] described is something most people of color in the UK have experienced – being told to go back to where we came from, ”said Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London.

"Educating viewers on racist language is something that should be applauded for, not censured."

Numerous staff at the broadcaster have also spoken out on the issue.

“I think my issue with that is that you have to make sure people who say bravely what they feel are being looked after by the guidelines as well. Bloody love Naga, ”Greg James, the host of Radio 1 Breakfast Show, said on Twitter.

The BBC The Executive Committee, which includes director-general Tony Hall, sent a further note about Ms Munchetty's treatment to all staff on Friday evening.

"You will have heard a lot of comments over the past few days about the BBC and reporting on racism," the panel said in the email.

“The BBC is not impartial on racism. Racism is not an opinion and it is not a matter of debate. Racism is racism. ”

“Naga Munchetty – one of our stars – was completely within her rights to speak about Donald Trump's tweets that have been widely condemned as racist. We completely back her in saying "as a woman of color, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism".

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“She was speaking honestly and from the heart about her own experiences. We admire her for it and she was justified in doing so.

“The very limited finding was not about Naga's comments on racism. That part of the complaint was rejected.

The part of the complaint which upheld Ms Munchetty's decision was to "comment critically on the possible motive for, and potential consequences of, the president's words."

It is unclear where Ms Munchetty discussed the president's motivations, apart from her reflection on racism which the Executive Committee has now defended.

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