BBC scribe sacked for racial comments

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London, Nov 13 (UNI) BBC journalist Sam Mason, who joined BBC Radio Bristol in September, has been sacked from her job for making ''completely unacceptable'' racial comments when ordering a taxi.

The taxi firm which records messages routinely in case of queries or complaints, recorded her speaking to the operator about her daughter and telling her, ''A guy with a turban on is going to freak her out.'' Ms Mason, 40, was subsequently suspended and then fired 24 hours later when the operator passed a transcript of the conversation on to The Sun newspaper, who then contacted the BBC.

The transcript shows how she ordered a taxi to take her 14-year-old from her house in Clifton to her grandparents' home.

In the recording, Ms Mason says, ''I know this sounds really racist, but I'm not being . . . please, don't send anyone like, you know what I mean. An English person would be great, a female would be better.'' The operator replies, ''We would class that as being racist. We can't penalise the Asian drivers and just send an English one,'' before Ms Mason retorts ''You've managed it before.'' Ms Mason insists that if it were her, she ''wouldn't care if it had two heads, but it's my little girl we are talking about.'' When she is then passed to a male operator, she tells him that his female colleague has a ''bad attitude.'' She says, ''I work at the BBC. I'm far from racist and that uneducated woman has no right to call me one.'' ''I don't want her to turn up with a guy with a turban on, it's going to freak her out. She's not used to Asians,'' she says in the recording.

Ms Mason then rang off but called back later to complain before a manager accepted her booking.

A BBC statement said, ''Although Ms Mason's remarks were not made on-air, her comments were completely unacceptable and, for that reason, she has been informed that she will no longer be working for the BBC with immediate effect.'' UNI XC SKB BD1818

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