Jon Snow cleared over 'white people' Brexit broadcast

Monday, August 5, 2019

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has been cleared of breaching broadcast standards for remarking he had “never seen so many white people in one place” at a Brexit rally.

Broadcast watchdog Ofcom received more than 2,600 complaints. The comment was described as racist, offensive, encouraged racial tensions, and implied a link between Brexit supporters and white supremacists.

Complainants also said the quote was biased as the racial make-up of Remain marches was not discussed in the same way.

The Brexit rally at Parliament Square on March 29 featured a speech from political activist Tommy Robinson, who Mr Snow said had delivered “an Islamophobic rant”.

Channel 4 said the program’s reporting had been impartial and accurate, and Mr Snow’s “white people” comment was a “spontaneous, unscripted observation”.

Ofcom ruled the comment was not in breach of broadcasting rules and was “sufficiently contexualised”.

Seven complaints were also received about comments made two days later by Nigel Farage on LBC.

The Brexit Party leader had said “Jon Snow should be attacked…because of his terrible condescending bias”, leading to complaints he was inciting violence.

Mr Farage clarified his comments few minutes later and said he meant “verbally attacked”. Ofcom said it was satisfied with the explanation.

It has warned all broadcasters to think carefully about any statements that may be “understood by audiences as highly inflammatory and provocative”.

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