James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Maajid Reminds People Laughing At The Diane Abbott Blackface That It's 2017
17 December 2017, 15:39
A man has mocked Diane Abbott by blacking up and holding a sign reading "190" at a darts competition, Maajid Nawaz said he couldn't believe people still find blackface funny.
"Good afternoon it's Maajid Nawaz here on LBC, Leading Britain's Conversation. The time is 12:04 and the year is 2017." That's how Maajid opened his show today, feeling the need to remind listeners of the current year.
The reason: Star Sports bookies tweeted on Friday a picture of one of their staff at the Ally Pally. Wearing blackface at a darts competition, the man held up a sign reading 190 - a dig at the shadow home secretary's blunder with numbers during the election campaign. The maximum score with three darts is 180.
The betting shop originally defended the costume as good-natured joke, before deleting the tweets and picture from their timeline. Anne Marie Waters had also told Andrew Castle that it was not offensive on his LBC breakfast show.
Maajid couldn't believe people were still defending blackface in 2017.
He said: "Despite the fact we're in 2017, a business in the United Kingdom thought it would, somehow, be funny to post a photo of a man dressed up as Diane Abbot in blackface.
"He was mocking the fact that Diane Abbott on LBC in her now infamous interview with Nick Ferrari, for which he won journalist of the year, messing up her numbers.
"Now it's interesting because there was an opportunity for an incredibly funny joke.
"I was just discussing with Nigel that if the joke stopped at the numbers, 190, it would have been quite funny. In fact that would have been hilarious.
"There was absolutely no need to blacken up to make that joke. But it's what they did do and then they posted it to social media.
"Oblivious to the harm and to the damage that they would cause. I wonder why in 2017 why it's still controversial, and it's still to difficult for some people to understand, that to black up your face in mockery of people who look different to you is not funny."
Watch the clip at the top of this page.