Comedian Sophie Duker provoked outrage after joking about ‘killing whitey’ on the show which aired in September, hosted by Glaswegian Frankie Boyle.
The BBC dismissed more than 1,000 complaints and said the content of the show was ‘within audience expectations’ for a post-watershed satirical programme, but Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation.
Objections about the reference made by Ms Duker on the show which aired on September 10 reached Stage 2 of the BBC’s complaints process to its independent Executive Complaints Unit but they were not upheld.
Ms Duker’s comments came while responding to a clip of black author James Baldwin discussing the idea of black power in an interview from the 1970s.
Addressing the video, Ms Duker suggested the terms “black power and white power” were capitalist myths that are “so prevalent today”.
She said: “Like white power is Trump Tower. When we say we want to kill whitey, we don’t really want to kill whitey,” she continued, but then quickly added “we do” and adding “not today,” eliciting laughter from fellow panel members.
She added: “Whiteness is a capitalist structure, it benefits itself.
“It hurts white people, it hurts non-black people, it hurts black people, but still [there’s] this kind of fear of a black alternative and its these rhetorics [that are] battled against each other, these extreme capitalist rhetorics of supremacy.”
As well as the 1,300 complaints to the BBC, dozens of people complained to broadcast watchdog Ofcom and complaints were also made to the police.
Ms Duker said that the backlash over her comments was a “harsh wake-up call to the toxicity of the media” and that she had been “singled out out for a joke”.
She said: “To put it bluntly, racists can’t take a joke.
“They’ll cry hate speech rather than concede a chuckle, attempting to silence anyone they deem subversive.
“With comedians, a funny tinge marks you out as a target – but running your mouth about race makes you Public Enemy No 1.”
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We received a report of a hate incident and inquiries are ongoing.”
A spokesman for the BBC said: “Frankie Boyle’s New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a postwatershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established.
“Every week on the show, Frankie puts forward a number of topics for debate, this episode was no different.
“The panellists’ comments were in response to a motion that was written and presented in line with the programme’s tone and style.
“Sophie Duker is a talented comedian and a regular panellist on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, and we look forward to continue working with her at the BBC.”
-- to www.dailyrecord.co.uk