The BBC Question Time audience was driven into a frenzy last night after one member thrust his fingers in a sign that has been associated by some with white supremacy, although it later appeared that it was an innocent drinking joke intended for his friends, a source told the Mail Online.
Twitter users eagerly weighed in on the OK gesture, which involves putting your thumb and index finger together while keeping the other three outstretched, as it is known to have been used by right-wing groups to mean “WP”, which stands for “white power”.
“They had a white supremacist throwing up white power signs on question time last night so it's apparently all fine”, one posted, while another fumed:
“Oh... A white supremacist has fallen through the BBC's very 'vigorous' question time applications”.
“BBC allows 'White Power' supporters in the audience?” another indignant user posted, going on to assume that they possibly “had Farage on the panel and needed some like-minded folks to back him up”:
This is where we are. A little fascist incel making a white power sign on the BBC. Tonight. In 2019. https://t.co/x8SjiU8OjO— Liz Tray (@LizTray) December 9, 2019
BBC allows 'White Power' supporters in the audience?— Tara Zuk (@Tara_Zuk) December 10, 2019
I guess they had Farage on the panel and needed some like-minded folks to back him up. Enable racists, and this is what you get. https://t.co/8eoUYxChFE
“The BBC should have removed this guy”, another stated unequivocally, with many more reacting similarly:
Wow that's unambiguous use of the white power signal. We need to see a clear condemnation from @bbcpress and a confirmation that this guy will never take part in a BBC programme again. I won't hold my breath...— Eagleowl (@eagleowl123) December 10, 2019
Was the @BBCQuestionTime youth programme broadcast live? If so, why did they not ask this guy to leave as soon as this was spotted? And if not, who was the god-damn editor who thought it was a good idea to show footage of someone doing a white power sign - twice?? Abolish @bbc. https://t.co/jYRSthO6KM— Marc (@MarcWinsland) December 10, 2019
Political sides also came in, with some Labour accounts taking a swipe at the BBC for “promoting white power”:
The audience member has issued no public comment on the criticism, but made it clear that he was deeply terrified at his gesture being interpreted as a racist one after another audience member explained to him what it meant.