Talksport host Alan Brazil broke rules by saying Asian immigrants caused rat infestation, Ofcom says

Talksport presenter 'promoted a negative stereotype of Asian people as being ignorant and unhygienic,' watchdog finds

Peter Stubley
Monday 25 March 2019 19:54
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Ofcom found Alan Brazil breached rules regarding the broadcast of offensive material
Ofcom found Alan Brazil breached rules regarding the broadcast of offensive material

TalkSport presenter Alan Brazil breached broadcasting rules by suggesting that Asian immigrants caused a rat infestation in Glasgow, the broadcasting watchdog has ruled.

The former Manchester United player and Scotland international said that “things have changed” because “different people move in” and fail to store rice properly.

The radio host made the comments on his Sports Breakfast programme in December during a conversation with fellow host Mike Graham.

“I don’t know if I should say this. I was talking to someone the other day and he came down from a part of Glasgow, in fact where my school was," he said. “And things have changed. Parts of cities have changed. Because different people move in. And there’s a lot of people there let’s say from Asia – you know from that part of the world.

“But they don’t, with rice and stuff, they don’t, they don’t store it properly. And he was saying, he’s social housing this guy, and he said you can’t believe the rat infestation we’ve got there.

“What do you mean – how? And he was telling me people just a little bit ignorant when they come in, it’s a little bit damp and stuff like that, and where they store the food and stuff, he said it’s horrendous at the moment.”

He has now been found in breach of Ofcom rules regarding the broadcast of offensive material.

The watchdog decided that the material should not have been broadcast because it breached rules requiring material to be justified by its context and audience expectations.

“In our view, these comments attributed a public health problem to a minority ethnic group protected by the Equality Act 2010, and so promoted a negative stereotype of Asian people as being ignorant and unhygienic," it said. “We therefore considered that the comments clearly had the potential to cause offence.”

TalkSport told Ofcom that “there was absolutely no intent to cause any offence”.

The breach will be recorded on the broadcaster’s licence.

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