Racist row during Question Time as BBC removes clip of Fiona Bruce referring to member of audience as ‘black man’ as presenter apologizes for ‘causing offence’
- Fiona Bruce called a Question Time audience member a ‘black man’
- She and the BBC have apologized after a racist row erupted over her description
Current news panel program Question Time has found itself in a race after the BBC removed a clip of Fiona Bruce calling an audience member a ‘black man’.
In Thursday night’s broadcast of the show on BBC One, the presenter asked a man from the audience to put his question to the panel, but her racial description was removed when it was uploaded to iPlayer.
Ms Bruce, 59, and the BBC have now apologized for offending her comments, with the presenter saying it was ‘wrong to identify him in the way I did’.
The comments angered former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal, who posted the original clip on X, formerly Twitter, and wrote: ‘Let’s hear from the “black man”‘.
She had asked the crowd in Wolverhampton: ‘Is it right to ban mobile phones in schools?’
Current news panel show Question Time has found itself in a racing row after the BBC removed a clip of Fiona Bruce (pictured) referring to an audience member as a ‘black man’
In the show’s broadcast on Thursday evening on BBC One, the presenter asked a man (pictured) from the audience to ask his question to the panel, but her racial description was removed when it was uploaded to iPlayer.
Fiona Bruce pictured today with a black eye and her arm in a sling after falling from her horse in a recent accident
The BBC presenter, whose arm was in a sling after falling from her horse, answered a question while wearing a “colorful top” and when asking for input from another audience member, she pointed to a “man over there in the middle…the black man’ in the middle, yes, sir.’
No one in the studio responded to the comment and the audience member then asked a question about limiting cellphone use in schools and government funding.
In the version of the program uploaded to BBC iPlayer, Bruce says: ‘the man in the middle, yes you, sir’, without the description of ‘black man’.
The BBC has since confirmed that Ms Bruce’s comment had been deleted and she has since apologized directly to the audience member. The presenter said: ‘I completely understand why my words were offensive last night and I apologise.
‘I spoke directly to the audience member and explained that I can usually see and describe an item of clothing or otherwise to help sound technicians with a microphone find people in the audience.
‘That wasn’t the case last night because my vision was obstructed. In the split second I had, the easiest thing would have been to ignore the audience member and move on, but I felt strongly that his voice needed to be heard.
‘Nevertheless, I think it was wrong to identify him as I did and therefore it was removed from the later released programme.’
The panel during last night’s Question Time included (from left to right) journalist and author and Tony Parsons, writer Emma Dabiri Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth, presenter Fiona Bruce, Transport Secretary Richard Holden and Icelandic Supermarket CEO Richard Walker
It is believed that Ms Bruce’s personal apology to the public has been positively received
It is believed that Ms Bruce’s personal apology to the public has been positively received.
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We regret the choice of words used to identify the audience member.
‘The intention was to ensure his voice was heard, but we recognize that we should not have identified him in this way and apologize for any offence.
‘Therefore the recorded version on iPlayer has been edited to remove this.’
The panel at last night’s Question Time included Transport Minister Richard Holden, shadow paymaster-general Jonathan Ashworth, writer Emma Dabiri, Icelandic supermarket director Richard Walker and journalist and author Tony Parsons.