DJ Sideman quits 1Xtra following BBC’s use of racist slur

DJ Sideman quits 1Xtra following BBC’s use of racist slur

News

Sideman has quit 1Xtra following the BBC’s use of a racist slur in a recent news report. 

The BBC has received over 18,600 complaints over the use of the N-word in a segment about a racially-aggravated attack in Bristol, broadcast by Points West and the BBC News Channel on 29th July. Today (8th August), DJ and presenter Sideman announced via an Instagram video that he would be leaving the station with immediate effect as a result of the incident, stating “I just don’t feel comfortable being aligned with the organisation”. The BBC has defended its use of the word in the report in a response to complaints.

In his statement, Sideman said the “action and the defence of the action feels like a slap in the face of our community”. “I can’t look the other way”, he said. “I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m about to say and what it means and on this occasion I just don’t think that I can look the other way.”

“We live in a world that needs to change,” he continued. “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 that’s going to happen overnight. 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…I’m happy working with organisations until we all get it right, but this feels like more than getting it wrong.”

“Money and opportunity doesn’t outweigh the dissatisfaction that I feel with this situation. This is wild to me, especially in the current social climate, and I can’t make any sense of it no matter how much I think about it. So I think that’s it’s time that I left.”

Listen to Sideman’s full statement below, via Instagram.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by David “Sideman” Whitely (@sidemanallday) on Aug 8, 2020 at 7:09am PDT

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