06:27 GMT05 December 2020
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    The BBC dismissed all accusations targeting the company and the comedian implicated in the 'race row', saying that the guest on the programme had only suggested that Prince Charles and the Chancellor had a “passing resemblance”.

    The BBC has come under fire after the guest of a comedy radio show compared Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to 'what Prince Charles would look like in brownface', reports The Sun.

    The comment, coming at a time of heightened awareness of racial issues, was made during The Leak, a comedy radio show on BBC Radio Wales.

    Leila Navabi, a 21-year old comedian, had mocked Rishi Sunak over the newly-released 50p coin commissioned by him that reads “Diversity Built Britain".

    Conceived as a gesture aimed at recognising the contribution of ethnic minority communities in the country, Navabi dismissed the coin as a “vacuous grand gesture” and “virtue signalling", adding in the comedy skit:

    “What I will say is that Rishi Sunak does not represent most brown people, in fact he doesn't represent most people point blank, unless most people have a billion pounds.”

    Rishi Sunak, born in Hampshire to Indian Hindu parents, was formerly a Goldman Sachs banker and is one of the wealthiest members of the Cabinet. Boasting a £7 million London home, a £1.5 million estate in Yorkshire and a holiday home in California, he is also married to Bangalore-based industrialist billionaire N. R. Narayana Murthy’s daughter Akshata Murthy.

    As the presenter of the show, Tom Price laughed in response; the young writer, comedian and producer quipped that “nobody likes the coin, the right say they reckon it is virtue signalling and the left seem to agree.”
    Navabi then jibed:

    “Rishi Sunak represents a lot of things for us as a society, not least what Prince Charles would look like in brownface.”
    Britain's Prince Charles looks at a display of alliums during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
    © AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
    Britain's Prince Charles looks at a display of alliums during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

    In response to the comments Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid was quoted by The Sun as saying:

    “It's the kind of thing I expect to hear from trolls on Twitter, not the BBC. The BBC should celebrate ­diversity, not sow division. I hope they think more carefully in future.”

    A BBC spokesman was quoted as saying:

    “In this instance, we believe that the comedian, who was a guest on the programme, was suggesting that Prince Charles and the Chancellor have a passing resemblance.”

    Nevertheless, the BBC has been fending off backlash after the show.

    Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly tweeted that the left “don’t like to see BAME people successful”, using the abbreviation that typically refers in the UK to Black, Asian, and minority ethnic people.

    ​Netizens similarly weighed in on the show and the remarks made by the comedian.

    ​Others defended Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

    ​Some netizens took a different stance, refusing to perceive the BBC as the culprit here.

    ​Others seemed to rather share Leila Navabi’s opinion of the UK Chancellor.

    Other netizens were not impressed with the entire row.

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    Tags:
    racial issue, BBC, Prince Charles, Rishi Sunak
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