BBC director-general Tony Hall overturns Naga Munchetty ruling after backlash

BBC director-general Tony Hall has overturned the ruling on Naga Munchetty after a fierce backlash.

Muchetty was found to have been in breach of BBC editorial guidelines when she criticised President Donald Trump live on air after he said four female politicians should 'go back' to 'places from which they came.'

Hall is said to have personally reviewed the original decision before overturning it.

In an email sent to all BBC colleagues, Hall said: "Racism is racism and the BBC is not impartial on the topic. There was never a finding against Naga for what she said about the President's tweet.


"Many of you asked that I personally review the decision of the ECU. I have done so.

"I have looked carefully at all the arguments that have been made and assessed all of the materials. I have also examined the complaint itself. It was only ever in a limited way that there was found to be a breach of our guidelines. These are often finely balanced and difficult judgements.

"But, in this instance, I don’t think Naga’s words were sufficient to merit a partial uphold of the complaint around the comments she made. There was never any sanction against Naga and I hope this step makes that absolutely clear.

"She is an exceptional journalist and presenter and I am proud that she works for the BBC."

In July, Naga, 44, entered into an off-script conversation during which she condemned comments made by Mr Trump about a number of United States Congresswomen.

Mr Trump sent a series of tweets in which he told female members of the Democrat Party Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley 'to go back to their own countries'

Naga said at the time: "Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.

"Now, I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean."

Last week the BBC ruled that she had breached editorial guidelines after a viewer complained about Naga expressing her personal opinion.

A BBC spokeswoman said the complaints unit "ruled that while Ms Munchetty was entitled to give a personal response to the phrase ‘go back to your own country’ as it was rooted in her own experience, overall her comments went beyond what the guidelines allow for."

The decision sparked a huge outcry and a petition to overturn the ruling reached over 35,000 signatures.

While celebrities including Lenry Henry, Gina Yashere and Adrian Lester all put their names to an open letter to the BBC condemning the decision.

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