David Whitely, a BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ known professionally as Sideman, abruptly quit his job after the network allowed a reporter to use the N-word in a news story about a racist attack in the U.K.
In a detailed video posted on Instagram Saturday, Whitely said he could not “rock with” the network’s decision and was resigning effective immediately.
“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,” he began. “We live in a world that needs to change, systems that need to change, organizations that need to change.”
He continued, “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.”
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Whitely has been a major supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.K.
The incident he is referring to is a July 29 report on a musician and National Health Service worker who was hit by a car, according to the BBC.
Police determined the incident was “racially aggravated” because the suspect used a racial slur in the attack. The BBC correspondent who reported the story is white, and used the full slur in his segment.
In response to Whitely’s decision to quit Radio 1Xtra, a BBC spokesperson said: “Obviously we are disappointed that he has taken this decision. We absolutely wish him well for the future. The door is always open for future projects.”
The network has defended the decision to allow the word in the story, saying it conveyed the racist nature of the attack. Still, the BBC admitted it received more than 18,000 complaints.