Piers Morgan has accused the BBC of double standards for backing Jo Brand despite firing Danny Baker.
In a Radio 4 satirical comedy panel show broadcast on Thursday evening, Brand made a joke about throwing battery acid – rather than milkshakes – on politicians. She followed her joke by saying she would never do such a thing.
Last month after the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s baby, radio personality Danny Baker tweeted a picture of an upper-class couple holding a chimpanzee dressed as a child.
Amid a tweetstorm of complaints about alleged racism – the Duchess’s mother being African-American – Baker deleted the tweet and apologised; but was quickly fired by the Corporation.
Today Good Morning Britain host Mr Morgan tweeted: ‘Why did the BBC instantly sack Danny Baker for an offensive royal baby tweet but won’t sack Jo Brand for saying she’d like acid to be thrown at politicians?’
The GMB host asked why the BBC had not sacked Brand as it had sacked Danny Baker
Mr Morgan’s tweet was retweeted 6,000 times and liked by more than 30,000 people
Several respondents pointed out that Ms Brand was a guest on the panel show, is not employed by the BBC, and the programme’s editors had chosen to include the joke in the broadcast; while Mr Baker – who was a BBC employee – had sent the tweet from his own account not in a format broadcast by the Corporation.
Heresy is a pre-recorded show and the BBC last night acknowledged its content had been reviewed and considered by the BBC before broadcast. The Corporation insisted Brand would remain ‘part of the Radio 4 family’.
Brand yesterday refused to apologise for her acid throwing remark as Nigel Farage called her an ‘overpaid, left wing, so called-comedian’ as the backlash against her intensified.
The 61-year-old said she had nothing to say to the Brexit Party leader and others outraged by the comments on ‘Heresy’ on Radio Four Extra.
Speaking outside her £1.9million detached home in Dulwich, south-east London , Brand refused to say sorry, and laughed as she was driven away in a car.
When asked if she would continue working with the BBC, she responded: ‘I’m not employed by the BBC, so how can they sack me?’
Jo Brand, pictured arriving at a literary festival yesterday, made the joke on the show ‘Heresy’
Danny Baker. After his tweet he said he wanted to ‘formally apologise for the outrage I caused’
Farage called her remarks ‘completely and utterly disgusting’ after he claimed she was ‘inciting violence’ with her comments on a BBC Radio 4 panel show.
This evening the BBC appeared to have pulled the show from its websites, and said in a Tweet it would edit the joke from future broadcasts and its catch-up service.
Asked about the row today, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police have received an allegation of incitement to violence that was reported to the MPS on 13 June.
‘The allegation relates to comments made on a radio programme. The allegation is currently being assessed. There have been no arrests and inquiries are ongoing.’
Brand said on Radio 4 show Heresy that yobs who doused politicians like Farage with milkshakes were ‘pathetic’ and added: ‘Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?’
Mr Farage suggested the police would have been knocking on his door ‘within minutes’ had he made a similar joke
The corporation has so far defied calls to axe her, and broadcasting watchdog Ofcom had yesterday received 65 complaints about the episode.
And victims of acid attacks have called her comments ‘vile’ and ‘inhumane’ while calling on her to spend time in a burns ward before making such remarks. Some called for her arrest.
A BBC spokeswoman said: ‘Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative and go against societal norms but are not intended to be taken seriously.
‘We carefully considered the programme before broadcast. It was never intended to encourage or condone violence, and it does not do so, but we have noted the strong reaction to it.
‘Comedy will always push boundaries and will continue to do so, but on this occasion we have decided to edit the programme. We regret any offence we have caused.’