Channel 4 news presenter, Matt Frei apologises for using racially offensive term when describing Barack Obama

Matt Frei apologised saying, the phrase 'apparently has a history I simply wasn't aware of'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A Channel 4 news reporter has apologised, after using a racially offensive term to describe Barack Obama.

Matt Frei said Mr Obama was “smiling like a split watermelon” when he met Pope Francis in Washington.

Watermelon is historically considered a racist term in the U.S which dates back to a stereotype that African Americans particularly like the fruit

Following Mr Frei’s report, former British NBA player, John Amaechi OBE voiced concern on Twitter:

Swiftly after the broadcast, Mr Frei apologised, saying “it was intended as an entirely innocent phrase that apparently has a history I simply wasn’t aware of”.

Mr Amaechi appeared to concede that the incident was a misunderstanding but advised Mr Frei to stick other phrases in the future:

Mr Frei is currently a presenter and the Europe editor of Channel 4 News, he was previously the Washington correspondent for the broadcaster.

Prior to this, he was Washington correspondent and American news bulletin presenter for BBC world news.