Alan Sugar, the host of BBC One’s “The Apprentice,” came under fire Wednesday morning for a tweet he posted about the Senegal World Cup team, which compared the football players to people selling sunglasses and handbags on the beach.
“I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi tasking resourceful chaps,” Sugar wrote in the since-deleted tweet, which was accompanied by a picture of Senegal’s World Cup soccer team along with snapshots of rows of sunglasses and handbags.
Many users were quick to call the tweet “racist,” prompting a quick apology from the billionaire TV star and his employer.
“I misjudged me earlier tweet,” Sugar tweeted a few hours later. “It was in no way intended to cause offence, and clearly my attempt at humour has backfired. I have deleted the tweet and am very sorry.”
The BBC followed up with its own tweet, saying the host “has acknowledged this was a seriously misjudged tweet, and he’s in no doubt about our view on this,” the pubcaster said in a statement. “It’s right he’s apologised unreservedly.”
Sugar’s remarks come on the same day that the BBC published a report on how the company plans to create more diversity within its staff, especially in senior positions.
See Sugar and the BBC’s apology tweets below.
I misjudged me earlier tweet. It was in no way intended to cause offence, and clearly my attempt at humour has backfired. I have deleted the tweet and am very sorry.
— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) June 20, 2018
Lord Sugar has acknowledged this was a seriously misjudged tweet, and he’s in no doubt about our view on this. It’s right he’s apologised unreservedly.
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 20, 2018