BBC apology for “Black Man’s Willy”

BMW…I thought that stood for Black Man Working. LOL How did they not think the innuendo wouldn’t raise eyebrows?

blackmanswillyFrom – The BBC has apologised after an innuendo-laden debate on Gardeners’ Question Time about a plant also known as “black man’s willy”. An audience member on the Radio 4 programme asked advice on the Rhodochiton Volubilis, which he said was “commonly known as the BMW, the black man’s willy”.

Some listeners complained of offensive racial stereotyping after the sequence was broadcast from Somerset. Radio 4 management concluded the item should not have been broadcast and said it regretted its decision to do so.

There is no evidence that any of the participants were exploiting, or even had in mind, the ‘outdated and patronising stereotype’ about black males to which the complainant refers Nevertheless, it is clear that some listeners did infer a derogatory intention in the words used, and did feel offended. With hindsight, we believe it would have been preferable to omit the item from the programme, because of the risk that it could be misconstrued in this way.”

In the edition of the October programme the panellists giggled their way through the discussion about the plant. Bob Flowerdew admitted he had “only ever seen one close up – and not that colour.” Anne Swithinbank claimed: “I’ve never seen one in my life…They don’t really like the old, as you can imagine. They shrivel up and look very unhappy.”


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