Bashir apologises for 'Asian babes' comment

The Television interviewer Martin Bashir has apologised after he had what he described as a "moment of stupidity" and made a "tasteless" comment about Asian women.

Bashir, who came to prominence after interviewing Diana, Princess of Wales, about her failed marriage in 1995, issued the apology after making the sexist comment in a speech at the Asian American Journalists Association annual banquet in Chicago on 25 July.

In a letter to the organisation, published in the latest New York Magazine, Bashir, 45, wrote: "Upon reflection, it was a tasteless remark that I now bitterly regret. I am grateful to you for the opportunity to address those present and hope that the continuing work of the organisation will not be harmed or undermined by my moment of stupidity."

His apology came as Jeffrey Schneider, a spokesman for US TV network ABC on which Bashir hosts the news documentary show 20/20, told reporters: "This kind of remark has no place in any setting and Martin knows that and is truly sorry for his serious error in judgement."

During the speech, Bashir had told the audience: "I'm happy to be in the midst of so many Asian babes. In fact, I'm happy that the podium covers me from the waist down." With his 20/20 co-presenter Juju Chang standing nearby on stage, Bashir went on to say that a speech should be "like a dress on a beautiful woman – long enough to cover the important parts and short enough to keep your interest – like my colleague Juju's".

"See what I have to put up with?" Ms Chang responded, as some members of the audience booed.

Bashir, who was born in London, moved to the US four years ago to work for 20/20, and was named co-anchor on Nightline, the network's equivalent of BBC's Newsnight, a year later. He rose to fame after his Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, in which she told him "there were three of us in this marriage", a reference to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Web Hosting Support Agent

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading web hosting pr...

Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled Maintenance Engineer - Electrical Bias

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Grantham, Lincolnshire...

Recruitment Genius: Data Centre & Systems Support Engineers

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This accelerated growth ISP company is current...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003