BBC 1Xtra DJ Sideman has quit the station over the use of a racial slur in a BBC News report.

Rehana Harmony

By Rehana Harmony

Rehana Harmony

9 Aug 2020

Yesterday Sideman, popular online personality and former BBC 1Xtra DJ, shared his distaste for the BBC’s “action” and “defence” of using the N-word in full, during a report about a racially aggravated attack in Bristol.

As a result more than 18,600 complaints have been made to the BBC over the broadcast. In addition, broadcast regulator Ofcom said it received 384 complaints. And yet the BBC still defended and justified the use of the slur which was used for the second time that week. 

In a video on Instagram , captioned “I can’t look the other way”, Sideman said: “I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m about to say and what it means.

“And on this occasion I just don’t think that I can look the other way.”

A spokesperson for BBC 1Xtra said: “Sideman is an incredibly talented DJ. Obviously we are disappointed that he has taken this decision.

Adding: “We absolutely wish him well for the future. The door is always open for future projects.”

In the video, the DJ said: “I understand it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, that there will need to be a lot of learning and tearing down of certain building blocks of our society that took a long time to build up.

“So I’m OK with process. I’m OK with waiting, within reason, for certain things to change.

“But the BBC sanctioning the N-word being said on national television by a white person is something I can’t rock with.

“This is an error of judgement where I can’t just smile with you through the process and act like everything is OK.”

His decision has met with a lot of praise across social media platforms and by fellow BBC DJ’s including former 1Xtra DJ Dotty and Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s DJ MistaJam.

As well as DJ Charlie Sloth, who said: “I admire and respect you David! Well done for standing up for what you believe is right! You’re a King!! This world needs people like you!”

As a result of Sideman’s resignation, a BBC spokesperson said the use of the word “was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence”.

Continuing, the spokesperson divulged, the decision was encouraged by the victim’s family and was made “by a team of people including a number of senior editorial figures”.