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No monkey business here please, we’re the BBC!


Prince Harry, Meghan and their new baby

Danny Baker, something of a house-hold name in the UK, in BBC radio broadcasting, got himself into hot water on Thursday 9th May for a tweet about the new royal baby. The tweet featured a black and white photo of a couple leaving a hospital, holding hands with a chimp dressed in a little suit and bowler hat, with the caption “Royal baby leaves hospital”. Sent to over half a million followers, it was posted after Prince Harry and his wife Meghan introduced their new son to the world as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The response of the BBC was swift and decisive and Baker found himself fired the next day, with a statement to the fact that the tweet went against the BBC’s ‘values’.

Baker, pleaded innocence, stating that he did not realize such imagery could be construed as racist, and therefore highly offensive. After hurriedly removing the photo, he re-tweeted that it, “Never occurred to me because, well, mind not diseased” (sic).

Danny Baker’s offensive tweet, which he later deleted.

So what’s the problem? Well, the mother of the Duchess of Sussex (actress Meghan Markle’s title since marrying Prince Harry) is Afro-American, and it is well known that racist slurs against people of African descent have involved monkeys. Meghan, sadly, has suffered a barrage of racial abuse online since being officially part of the Royal household, and Baker cannot be unaware of these facts.

But let’s think for a moment, why are monkeys used to insult people of African descent? The logical link of man’s supposed evolution from primates is very obvious, and is the elephant in the room when it comes to any virtue-signalling1 by social justice commentators, as to the perceived offensive nature of such imagery. (For instance, the well-known insult of monkey chants at football matches, or throwing banana peels at players of colour, the list goes on ad-nauseum).

The link between Darwin’s statements (in his Origin of Species) and his later followers regarding the racist implications of evolution are ably summed up by the late Stephen J. Gould: “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.”2 And it is this acceptance of evolutionary theory within education and society at large which is the fundamental problem.

Statue of Charles Darwin at the Natural History Museum, London.

So when it comes to the BBC’s ‘values’, why should they find Baker’s tweet so offensive that it justifies his immediate sacking, when they themselves are the national purveyors of all things evolutionary? Such thinking is promoted at every turn by leading stars like David Attenborough and Brian Cox. It is therefore rank hypocrisy on the part of the BBC. If evolution is true, then so is the fact of evolved races of men, some of whom would be less developed than others. Even the co-discoverer of the DNA helix structure, James Watson, was very clear about the implications of evolution when he stated in his 2007 memoir: “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically.”3

When it comes to BBC ‘values’, they have moved far from their founding principles as stated on a Latin-text inscription inside Broadcasting House. Here, the BBC dedicates its program output “to Almighty God”. Only the biblical foundation of all people being made from one blood (Acts 17:26), is the answer to racism. Scripture is clear that we are all made in the image of God, and are all related to our forefather Adam. There is no room in the biblical world-view for racism, because the idea that races of man evolved separately from ape-like creatures is untrue. Therefore, we have the moral foundation upon which to judge the likes of Baker’s tweet as offensive and false. However, the BBC’s response is both hypocritical and inconsistent because of their explicit acceptance of Darwinian evolutionary ideas.

We wish the royal couple and their new baby every blessing. May the seventh heir to the British throne grow in wisdom and stature, and most of all may he come to know his Maker, who created him in His image, for a relationship with Himself.

Published: 14 May 2019

References and notes

  1. Virtue signaling is speech that is conspicuous in the way it seeks to express virtue or moral piety. See, for example: Bartholomew, J., The awful rise of ‘virtue signaling’, spectator.co.uk, 18 April 2015. Return to text.
  2. Gould, S.J., Ontogeny and Phylogeny, Harvard University Press, p. 127, 1977. Return to text.
  3. Watson, J.D., Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science: And Other Lessons from a Life in Science, Oxford University Press, p. 19, 2007. Return to text.