Sideman behind BBC as he reacts to channel apologising for using racial slur

Sideman has insisted he is ‘100 percent’ behind the BBC on its ‘journey to change and reform’, after the channel apologised for including a racial slur in a news report.

The Radio 1Xtra presenter had quit his show following the controversial BBC News broadcast that saw correspondent Fiona Lamdin use the N-word during a report on a racially motivated attack in Bristol.

Lamdin had repeated the word as it was allegedly used during the incident and BBC came under fire from critics, with many questioning why the network thought it was acceptable.

BBC director General Tony Hall has since apologised for the controversial broadcast, stating: ‘The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our guidance on offensive language across our output.

‘Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here. It is important for us to listen – and also to learn. And that is what we will continue to do.’

Sideman – real name David Whitely – stood by the BBC and shared Hall’s apology to his Instagram page, commenting that he was ‘100 percent’ behind the channel on its journey to ‘change and reform’.

He captioned his post: ‘Behind you 100% on the journey toward change and reform.’

Sideman was praised by fans and listeners, after he revealed his decision to quit his Radio 1Xtra show because he ‘can’t look the other way’.

Explaining his decision, Sideman shared: ‘I have thought long and hard about what I am about to say and what it means and on this occasion, I just don’t think that I can look the other away.

‘We live in a world that needs to change, systems that need to change, organisations that need to change and as a person that believes that change can happen and wanting change to happen. I understand transition and I understand it’s not something can happen overnight.’

The presenter continued: ‘There will need to be a lot of learning and unlearning and tearing down of certain building blocks of our society that took a long time to build-up. I am ok with process, I am ok with waiting within reason for certain things to change but the BBC sanctioning the N-word being said on National television by a white person is something I can’t rock with.’

‘This is an error in judgement where I can’t just smile with you through the process and act like everything is ok,’ he insisted. ‘I’m happy working with organisations until we all get it right, but this feels like more than getting it wrong.

‘The action and the defence of the action feels like a slap in the face for our community, that’s why effective immediately I am leaving my job as a radio broadcaster for BBC 1Xtra.’

Despite his exit, a spokesperson for Radio 1Xtra told that the door will always be open for Sideman, if he wishes to return to the station.

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