News host Jon Snow’s remark that he had “never seen so many white people in one place” is being investigated by Ofcom.
The broadcasting watchdog has received 2,644 complaints about his comment on March 29, which referred to pro-Brexit protesters who gathered in Westminster on the day the UK was meant to leave the European Union.
The 71-year-old presenter was signing off from the Channel 4 News bulletin when he made the comment.
The media regulator will also investigate remarks made by Nigel Farage in the aftermath of Snow’s on-air comment.
Ofcom said it has received five complaints after Mr Farage said on LBC two days later that Snow “should be attacked without doubt” for his previous remark.
Asked by Alastair Campbell – who appeared alongside him on the radio show – why Snow deserved to be attacked, the former Ukip leader said: “Because of his terrible condescending bias, but that’s a separate issue.”
Mr Farage later clarified during the same programme that he meant a verbal attack, not a physical one.
An Ofcom spokeswoman said of both incidents: “We’re investigating whether comments made by the presenters on these programmes broke our rules on offensive content.”
Snow’s words on Channel 4 News drew criticism online from some viewers who described the comments about “white people” as unnecessary.
Channel 4 later said it regretted any offence caused.
A spokeswoman said: “This was an unscripted observation at the very end of a long week of fast-moving Brexit developments.
“Jon has covered major events such as this over a long career and this was a spontaneous comment reflecting his observation that, in a London demonstration of that size, ethnic minorities seemed to be significantly under-represented.
“We regret any offence caused by his comment.”
- Press Association