Presenter Naga Munchetty was reprimanded by the British public broadcaster for saying she was ‘absolutely furious’ after US president told four US congresswomen to go back home.

The BBC’s decision to uphold a complaint against a presenter who spoke out on-air in July about controversial remarks made by US President Donald Trump has drawn criticism.

During a broadcast of the channel’s flagship BBC Breakfast programme, Naga Munchetty suggested Trump’s comments telling four US congresswomen of non-white backgrounds to ‘go back’ to their countries of origin could be racist and that she was “absolutely furious” with the Republican leader.

“I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious a man in that position thinks it’s okay to skirt the lines by using language like that,” she said after being asked for her opinion by her co-host.

The exchange was shared thousands of times, including by the BBC’s own social media channels, but Munchetty was soon the subject of disciplinary measures by the organisation’s own complaints unit.

The unit ruled that Munchetty had breached editorial guidelines and that as she was working in the capacity of a journalist, she should not have given her “opinions about the individual making the remarks.”

That ruling prompted its own backlash against the BBC from journalists, academics, and even politicians, who said that the organisation was trying to placate the far-right and silence ethnic minority journalists.

Former and current BBC journalists were among those adding their weight to the criticism.

In one tweet that typified the response, BBC Radio Five financial journalist Sean Farrington wrote: “This ruling is disappointing and confusing.The only ray of light is the backing Naga is getting from elsewhere, from BBC colleagues and beyond. She certainly has my full support.”

The episode also drew comment from senior politicians including British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn.

“C’mon BBC. This is ridiculous. It’s perfectly understandable why she said what she did,” said Javid on Twitter, while Corbyn wrote that the BBC’s decision was astonishing.

“Telling people to "go back" to "places from which they came" is racist. Naga Munchetty stated a fact,” he said. “She shared experiences of racism she's suffered. That can’t be at odds with any editorial guidelines.”

Source: TRT World