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BBC Woman’s Hour guest drops out after presenter’s comments

Emma Barnett left microphone on to discuss alleged antisemitic comments made by Kelechi Okafor

A row has erupted at BBC Woman’s Hour after a booked guest refused to appear after overhearing comments about her made by its presenter. The actor Kelechi Okafor cancelled the planned discussion about the MeToo movement, describing her treatment on Twitter as “absolutely degrading and vile”, after presenter Emma Barnett inadvertently left her microphone on during a conversation with her producers where she questioned antisemitic comments attributed to Okafor in 2017.

Other Woman’s Hour guests, including Sarah Brown from the End Violence Against Women coalition, were also on the Zoom call. Quoting Okafor’s statement on Twitter, where she said if the programme had “a genuine concern”, they should have addressed it with her directly, Brown said Woman’s Hour should apologise for its appalling treatment toward Okafor. “It was really unfair and then led to a #MeToo discussion with no black woman’s voice.”

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