THE BBC has defended using the n-word in a report on a racist attack after 384 viewers complained to Ofcom.
Corporation bosses said they knew the language would “cause offence” but use of the slur was supported by the family of the victim.
A row erupted after BBC social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin uttered the slur when reporting on an attack on musician K-Dogg.
The 21-year-old musician was attacked by thugs in coronavirus masks who used a car to ram him into a wall as he walked home from work at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
They then hurled racist abuse at him before leaving him injured on the ground with a broken leg, nose and cheekbone.
Introducing an interview with one of the first people on the scene, Ms Lamdin said: “Just to warn you, you’re about to hear highly offensive language because as the men ran away they hurled racial abuse, calling him a n*****.”
The reporter was blasted on social media with people “flabbergasted” and “highly offended” by the “disgusting” language.
The row comes after BBC viewers were outraged after a presenter said the N-word just three days after Ms Lamdin’s controversial comments.
TV historian Lucy Worsley said the racial slur while reciting a quote from John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed Abraham Lincoln.
BBC RACE ROW
There have been calls for the Beeb to make an immediate public apology over the K Dogg broadcast – but instead the corporation said the decision was “editorially justified”.
It said in a statement: “We have listened to what people have had to say about the use of the word and we accept that this has caused offence but we would like people to understand why we took the decision we did.
“This story was an important piece of journalism about a shocking incident.
“It was originally reported by some as a hit and run, but investigations indicated that racist language was used at the scene and it was then treated by the police as a racially aggravated attack.
“The victim’s family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public.
“It’s, for this reason, they asked us specifically to show the photos of this man’s injuries and were also determined that we should report the racist language, in full, alleged to have been spoken by the occupants of the car.”
The statement added the decision to use the word was made by “senior editorial figures”.
It added: “Notwithstanding the family’s wishes, we independently considered whether the use of “highly offensive” word was editorially justified given the context.
“The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence.”
The bulletin, originally aired last Wednesday, was quickly removed from the BBC website after viewers expressed their outrage on Twitter.
One person said: “I really don’t think that word was necessary. Saying racial slur would have been enough.”
Another wrote: “As a woman of colour I am highly offended at this! Such a demonstration of poor judgement and zero sensitivity exercised here especially in light of the times we are currently facing, completely disgraceful!”
Others were also horrified to hear the word on day-time TV and shared their disbelief online.
One said on Twitter: “I’m a bit gobsmacked” while another wrote “SORRY WHAT.”
Another person tweeted: “There was literally no need, from the moment they said racial slurs we all knew exactly what was said.”
And someone replied: “What the f**k. Reporting now.”
Most people agreed the reporter should have said “the N-word” because “we all know what it means”.
One person tweeted: “I’m in disbelief. It’s 10am and she said this. Two black people don’t even say this on pro live TV wtaf.”
Another said: “Oh that’s painful to watch. Just stop at racial abuse. There have been many stories about racial hatred previously and at no point has it ever been necessary to say that word.”
One woman wrote: “That’s an outrage. BBC News, how the hell did this obtain approval for broadcast? Answers required.”
And someone replied: “The level of unnecessary. She could have just left it at racial slurs, we know what it means ffs.”