UK NEWS: THE METRO FEATURES EDITOR RESPONDS TO BASHY CRITICISM / THREATENS TO BAN INTERVIEWS WITH ‘MINORITY SUBJECTS’
I reported earlier on that a journalist working for The Metro newspaper faced a wave of criticism today, after he asked UK rapper Bashy if he thought “music was a way out for young black people now, like boxing used to be”, during an interview.
Since then the newspaper has received a wave of complaint emails and reader Susan Younis has kindly forwarded me the response email she received from The Metro’s Feature Editor Kieran Meeke.
Thank you for your letter and my apologies that you found the question offensive.
The 60secs format is very tight and it is often necessary to ask very complex questions in a shorthand way. Bashy enjoyed this question as it was an opening for him to make exactly some of the points you raise in your note: that there are many more openings now than there used to be.
Part of the reason for the interview was to encourage all teenagers,not just black ones, to get involved in their community and thereby raise their horizons from some of the stereotypes of the past. This was intended as a positive interview with a positive message and I am sorry you have found a negative note in it.
We have heard from Bashy’s team today that they are delighted with the interview.
And in another reply to a complaint email, a by now rattled Kieran issues a veiled threat.
I find that this question is now the subject of a chain complaint – some from people who obviously have not read the entire interview. I find it sad that when Metro interviews someone such as Bashy, the reaction is so negative, with, frankly, the ‘racism’ card being waved so readily. The only possible outcome will be to make minority subject even less likely to be interviewed by our team wary of facing such accusations over seemingly innocent questions. Click here to read full reply.
Well if Bashy didn’t take offence to the question, and both artist/management are delighted with the interview then I guess it’s all alright then Kieran!
But if we are not alright with it, then you will ban interviews involving ‘minority subjects’ from the newspaper?
And do you refer to black people as being ‘minority subjects’ on a daily basis?
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
UPDATE: I just got word that The Metro has now removed the article from their site.
UPDATE: The article is back up and still available to read on The Metro site.
In a new interview with The Metro Newspaper, UK rapper Bashy was asked the following question by journalist James Day….
Is music a way out for young black people now, like boxing used to be?
The question stopped me dead in my tracks this morning, and then I laughed out loud.
Could James really be this dumb, ignorant and perhaps racist?
Does he actually believe that back in the day a young black man’s (that’s who I assume he is referring too) only goal in life was to become the next Frank Bruno, and in 2009 to become the next Lil Wayne?
James has obviously been brought up with the preconcieved notion that black people have been put on this earth only to sing, shuck and jive while standing next to Amy Winehouse, and to beat seven bells out of each other in a boxing ring in front of a baying crowd.
Forget about studying to become University graduates, doctors, surgeons, dentists, lawyers, media moguls and the President of the United States of America. We simply don’t have enough brain cells to achieve such goals.
No according to James their are no other options for us. Our only way out of the ‘slums’ has always been through the POWER of sport, entertainment and maybe carpentry.
Oh dear, oh dear James.. how did you get it all so wrong?
Since the publication of this interview there have been calls for an apology, and from some quarters calls to fire James Day.
If you wish to complain to The Metro with regards to this interview then email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Subject: James Day – Bashy Interview (4th June 2009).
Bashy’s new album Catch Me If You Can is available in stores now!