BBC Breakfast has defended Anna Pasternak after she told viewers that the ‘white minority’ is being ‘silenced’ during a tense discussion about racism following Meghan Markle’s Oprah Winfrey interview.
The author sparked an online backlash after she clashed with activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu on the programme, hosted by Dan Walker and Louise Minchin, and claimed that white people nowadays can’t speak out on race issues.
‘It says an awful lot about her character,’ Pasternak said of the Duchess of Sussex.
‘This is not necessarily just about colour, this is about character – and anyone like me who is white, privileged and well-educated is not able to say anything without it being viewed as racist.’
She continued: ‘This is not, I don’t think, all about racism. I think a lot of this is about character, but we as a white minority nowadays are silenced from being able to speak our truth because then it’s immediately labelled as racist.’
Responding to Pasternak’s claims, Dr Shola said: ‘You are not being silenced by anybody because, after all, the majority of voices for the longest time have been the white majority voice.’
Viewers immediately hit out at Pasternak for her comments and criticised BBC Breakfast for not doing anything to stop her.
‘What an absolutely disgraceful appearance from #AnnaPasternak on BBC Breakfast,’ blasted one.
‘Claiming that privileged white people are being silenced from speaking their truths? Ignorant, offensive and completely tone deaf. An utter embarrassment.
‘@BBCBreakfast I have never been so offended! watching Anna Pasternak lay in to Magan Markle, playing the white minority card and saying the @RoyalFamily should not dignify a response #shameful,’ added another.
Echoing a similar sentiment, a third vented: ‘Did Anna Pasternak just say on @BBCBreakfast that white privileged people ‘like herself’ are the minority and silenced?!
‘What a disgrace. I’m utterly shocked that @louiseminchin and Dan Walker Didn’t pull her up on it.’
‘Shocking management of the interview with Dr Shola and Anna Pasternak this morning from Dan and Louise,’ wrote a fourth.
Shocking management of the interview with Dr Shola and Anna Pasternak this morning from Dan and Louise @BBCBreakfast
— James Glasheen (@jgfp_financial) March 8, 2021
The BBC has since defended its inaction over the interview following a barrage of complaints.
‘BBC Breakfast reflected a range of views discussing the issues raised by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent interview,’ a spokesperson said.
‘Our guests each made a passionate case and we are satisfied the audience was clear they were each giving their own opinions on what is a very topical subject.
‘Our presenters interjected at several points to ensure the interview remained on track.’
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays from 6am on BBC One.