BBC host apologizes for ‘fat Jewish guy’ comment

(JTA) — A BBC host has apologized for saying it is “great” that music artists are no longer being managed by “some random fat Jewish guy from northwest London.”

“I am hugely apologetic for this flippant comment,” Reggie Yates, a Radio 1 host and TV presenter, said Monday in his apology. “It was not my intention to offend or reinforce stereotypes, but I’m aware that this could have been interpreted that way and for that I am also deeply sorry.

“What I was actually trying to say was how proud I am of the new generation of artists making their success independently on their own terms and without giving away control or their rights to major labels.”

Yates, 34, made his comments earlier this month on a podcast in response to a question about current popular black music artists and expressed pleasure that they were being “managed by their brethren.”

“The thing that makes it great about this new generation of artists is that they ain’t signing to majors,” he said on the podcast titled “#Halfcast Podcast: Take Back The Power,” hosted by the DJ Chuckie Lothian. “They’re independent, they’re not managed by some random fat Jewish guy from northwest London, they’re managed by their brethren.”

Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust, a London-based group that combats anti-Semitism, told the local media, “Even worse than any offense is the message Yates gives his audience by reinforcing an anti-Semitic stereotype” that Jews are money grabbing and untrustworthy.

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