Small Axe director Sir Steve McQueen would have boycott the BBC (Picture: PA)
Small Axe director Sir Steve McQueen revealed that he would have boycott the BBC if it refused to apologise for using a racial slur in a news report.
On July 29, correspondent Fiona Lamdin said the N-word during a segment on a racially motivated attack in Bristol, repeating the word as it was allegedly used during the incident.
At the time BBC Director General Tony Hall stepped in to apologise for the use of the word and said that they should have ‘taken a different approach’.
Sir Steve, whose Small Axe series looks at the past experiences of London’s West Indian community, explained that he would have boycott the TV channel if it wasn’t corrected.
‘That they didn’t react on the N-word is ridiculous,’ he told the Radio Times.
The BBC News report was met with a wave of fury from viewers (Picture: Twitter)
‘I can’t tell you what I did. But there was going to be some kind of boycott on my part if that wasn’t corrected because it was so offensive it was untrue.’
The director went on to discuss diversity as he added that all he has ever wanted was for the BBC ‘to give opportunity’.
He also emphasised the importance of opportunity as he said it hopes that more doors ‘open for people of women and colour’.
Sir Steve McQueen reveals he would have boycott the BBC (Picture: PA)
He continued: ‘Back in the day, the place that you’d see the most black people was in the canteen, where the ladies and porters would be black or Irish white working-class.’
Earlier this year, the BBC was hit with further backlash after the N-word was used for a second time during a history programme.
Presenter Lucy Worsley used the racial slur in BBC Two’s American History’s Biggest Fibs on August 1, while discussing the freedom of slaves.
In August, Tony from the BBC sent a lengthy email to staff where he acknowledged the mistake the organisation had made.
‘This morning I brought together a group of BBC colleagues to discuss our news coverage of the recent shocking attack on an NHS worker. I wanted us to look at the issues raised by the reporting and the strength of feeling surrounding it,’ he penned in the email.
‘We are proud of the BBC’s values of inclusion and respect, and have reflected long and hard on what people have had to say about the use of the n-word and all racist language both inside and outside the organisation.
‘It should be clear that the BBC’s intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so.’
He continued: ‘Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.
‘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.’
The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.