BBC DJ fired after including chimpanzee picture in royal baby tweet

A BBC disc jockey has been fired after using a picture of a chimpanzee in a tweet about the royal baby born Monday to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who is biracial.

Tweet, since deleted, was an 'enormous mistake,' says DJ

BBC DJ Danny Baker speaks to the media at his London home on Thursday. The BBC has fired Baker after he used a picture of a chimpanzee in a Twitter post about the royal baby born to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. (Victoria Jones//Press Association/Associated Press)

A BBC disc jockey has been fired after using a picture of a chimpanzee in a tweet about the royal baby born Monday to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry.

Danny Baker tweeted Thursday that he has been fired after posting an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes and the caption: "Royal baby leaves hospital."

The tweet was seen as a racist reference to the heritage of the couple's newborn, Archie, who was born Monday. The duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, is black, and her father, Thomas Markle, is white.

Baker, 61, said the posting had been meant as a gag, tweeting late Wednesday that it was "supposed to be [a] joke about royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race." The post has since been deleted.

"Enormous mistake, for sure. Grotesque. Anyway, here's to ya Archie, Sorry mate," he tweeted.

BBC Radio 5 Live controller Jonathan Wall said in an email to staff that Baker had shown poor judgment.

"This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody. Danny's a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us," Wall said.

Doria Ragland, the mother of the duchess, is seen with Prince Charles at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle last May, following the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan. (Owen Humphreys/Reuters)

On Thursday, Baker insisted he is not racist and attacked the BBC for its handling of the situation. He said the call to fire him "was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity" by the public broadcaster.

When Harry was first dating Meghan, his office released a scathing letter in which he complained about sexist and racist coverage of Meghan, who at the time was starring in the TV show Suits.

The flap over Baker's tweet came as Harry took a break from parental duties to travel to the Netherlands to promote the 2020 Invictus Games, an international competition he founded for injured service personnel and veterans.

Harry grinned and made funny faces for the cameras as he held up a tiny baby outfit given to him by Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.

Baby Archie was introduced to his great-grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip, Wednesday. Harry and Meghan posted an Instagram picture of the meeting, which also included Meghan's mother, who is staying with the royal couple.

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