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/ International News / 2008 / November 2008 / November 11, 2008|
BBC presenter fired for demanding non-Asian cab driver
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A BBC presenter has been fired after asking a taxi firm not to send an Asian cabbie to pick up her teenage daughter.
London, Nov 11 : A BBC presenter has been fired after asking a taxi firm not to send an Asian cabbie to pick up her teenage daughter.
Sam Mason, 40, who joined BBC Radio Bristol in September, called the taxi firm off-air when she was playing a song on her afternoon show, The Telegraph reported.
The 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. 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."
Mason 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.
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 Mason retorts "You've managed it before".
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."
Mason then rang off but called back later to complain before a manager accepted her booking.