Broadcaster Apologizes For Misquoting Stormzy On Racism Comment About The UK
A UK broadcaster has apologized for how it reported comments made by grime artist Stormzy about racism in Britain, after he accused media outlets of intentionally spinning his words.
Anger grew online after headlines by ITV News — and other organizations — suggested that the musician had said the UK was 100% racist, instead of his assertion that there was racism in the country.
In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica last week, Stormzy was asked if the UK was still racist today, to which he replied “definitely, 100%”
When pressed by journalist Antonello Guerrera, the star elaborated further, saying that racism in the UK was more “hidden” than in Italy, but that it had worsened under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s premiership.
The Sun’s headline about the interview read “Stormzy launches Twitter tirade after reports he said Britain was ‘100% racist,'” LBC ran with “Stormzy says he believes Britain is “100 per cent” a racist country,” while the Daily Mail said “Stormzy claims the UK is ‘definitely racist'” in its headline.
On Sunday the artist retweeted ITV’s story, headlined “Rapper Stormzy says UK is ‘100 per cent’ racist,” responding “ITV you lot can suck my d**k for this.”
He took to Twitter, accusing some media outlets of “intentionally spinning my words for some click bait.”
ITV News responded to the criticism, apologizing to the musician for “any misunderstanding.”
“On Saturday we reported on an interview by an Italian newspaper with the British rapper Stormzy in which the subject of racism in the UK was discussed,” the broadcaster posted. The outlet noted that Stormzy’s response was reproduced in full on its website.
“Despite this, it was felt the headline at the top of this story on our website and Twitter post did not reflect these comments fully and was therefore amended … We would like to apologise to Stormzy for any misunderstanding,” the outlet said.
The Evening Standard also confirmed that the newspaper had amended its headline following Stormzy’s comments.
“The headline in this story initially said: “Stormzy says UK is ‘definitely 100% racist’ and worse since Boris Johnson became PM,” the Standard wrote in a correction to the story.
“After Stormzy said that his comments had been misinterpreted, we have amended the headline,” it added.
Italian reporter Guerrera posted a full transcript of the interview to Twitter on Saturday, which he said was the “original and only reliable source.”
CNN has contacted ITV, the Sun, LBC and the Daily Mail for further comment.