‘This Morning’ presenter Eamon Homes has found himself at the center of a race row after calling Meghan Markle “uppity”.
Apparently the world uppity has racist connotations and according to the one viewer who complained to ITV’s network, the word was used as a 19th century insult to black people.
ITV has defended Holmes who said he was unaware of the 19th century useage
The Mail Online reports: The TV host said: ‘If you have an uppity attitude, you’re only through the door two minutes and suddenly you’re sitting at Wimbledon and your royal protection are saying, ‘No photographs, no photographs!’ ‘ The viewer complained to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, saying the word was racist.
The complainant also wrote to the TV network’s Head of Diversity, Ade Rawcliffe.
Historically, the word ‘uppity’ was used in the US in the 19th Century as an insult to black people who ‘didn’t know their place’.
Holmes wasn’t aware of the word’s historical context and ITV defended the presenter, finding that his use of it had not been scripted, that the meaning of the word and its connotations had been explained to him, and that it wouldn’t be used in future.
According to sources at ITV, Holmes is now fully aware of the word’s meaning and has promised not to use it again. And the network has gone even further – banning the use of the word completely.
After discussion with Ofcom, Ms Rawcliffe wrote to the upset viewer saying: ‘Eamonn was unaware of the history of the term ‘uppity’ and how it could be interpreted when describing Meghan Markle.
‘We are not saying that ignorance is in any way a defence, he was using the term to describe what he interpreted as arrogance.
‘The origins of the term have now been explained to Eamonn and the wider editorial team and it won’t be used again. We apologise for any offence that this may have caused you.’
However, the complainant is said to be furious that Mr Holmes has not made a public apology.
Ofcom have confirmed they will research audience attitudes to the word in their future work to ensure that viewers aren’t offended in future.
The word has previously sparked rows in the media in the US, most notably after it was used to describe President Obama and Michelle Obama some years ago.
A spokesperson for ITV said last night: ‘It is absolutely untrue to state that Eamonn was reprimanded in any way for his use of language.
‘The conversations with Eamonn and the production team involved an explanation of the possible interpretation of the word, on the basis of a single complaint made to the channel following the broadcast, therefore this was a point of learning for the wider team, not a rebuke.’
- Since publication of this article, ITV has stated: ‘It is incorrect to state that there is an ITV ban on the word uppity. There is no such ban on the word “uppity” per se, rather care will be taken regarding the context of its use.’