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BBC - N word has been ‘reclaimed’ and is no longer offensive

By The Ligali Organisation | Mon 19 January 2009

BBC defends usage of n word in response to a listener complaint calling for the removal of the racist epithet from BBC Radio music programming for children.


The BBC defended its decision to continue to broadcast material containing the N Word in music targeting young people despite a survey by the Sunday Express published November 2008, which highlighted a majority of people want the removal of swearing from television.

In its response to a complainant the BBC’s Ciaran McConnell from BBC Complaints claimed that although the BBC recognises the n word is controversial, “its use in US rap songs does not cause offence... [because the racist] word has been 'reclaimed' by many black Americans as a positive description [for African people]”.


N word is funny banter

On its flagship Radio 4 Today programme the BBC recently made a broadcast where contributor, former Foreign Office minister, Rod Richards used the n word as he described the usage of racist epithets in the army and house of parliament as ‘banter’ and ‘fun’.




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