Police probe ‘racist’ tweet of royal baby
The Metropolitan Police Service has confirmed that specialist officers are examining an allegation relating to the tweet, which Baker posted on Wednesday. It was not clear yesterday whether officers have spoken to Baker or his representatives about the complaint. Baker, 61, who hosted a weekly show on Radio 5 Live until his sacking, has been at the centre of a race row since he posted a picture of a smartly dressed chimpanzee with the caption: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
The tweet, which he has since been deleted, sparked outrage, with critics accusing him of likening the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn son Archie to an ape.
Within hours of the post he was sacked by the BBC for his “serious error of judgement”.
The disclosure that police are examining a complaint is the latest setback for Baker who has spent the past few days trying to explain what he concedes was an “ill-advised, ill-thought-out, stupid” joke.
In a series of interviews and follow-up tweets, the star said he had no idea that the new Royal arrival was mixed-race.
He explained that the original intention behind the tweet was to lampoon the media circus surrounding the event. In a lengthy tweet on Friday in which he again apologised, he said: “In attempting to lampoon privilege and the news cycle I went to a file of goofy pictures and saw the chimp dressed as Lord and thought, “That’s the one!”
“Had I kept searching I might have chosen General Tom Thumb or even a baby in a crown.
“But I didn’t. God knows I wish I had. Minutes later I was alerted by followers that this Royal baby was of course mixed race and waves of panic and revulsion washed over me.”
Earlier Baker criticised the BBC for not allowing him to apologise and admitted swearing at Radio 5 Live controller Jonathan Wall during a heated discussion on the incident.
The image posted by Baker dated to 1925 and showed Jo Mendi, a performing chimp popular with US audiences with Gertrude Bauman, the wife of his trainer and an unidentified man.
A Met police service spokesperson said: “An allegation has been received by the Met on Thursday, May 9, in relation to a tweet published on May 8.
“As is routine, the allegation will be reviewed and assessed by specialist officers.”
The spokesperson declined to comment on whether police had contacted Baker.