Celebrity hairdresser James Brown racially abused TV presenter Ben Douglas at the Baftas, referring to him as a “n*gger” and his female companion as a “n*gger’s bitch”.
Initially, the theatre academy founder Douglas had refrained from naming the stylist, but in the end went public to expose increasing use of the abusive word.
Douglas explained: “My motivation isn’t that I want to ruin someone’s career or to do a ‘kiss and tell’, but I feel it is an opportunity to raise awareness and to put a focus on the use of that word. I have seen the use of that word creeping into slang. Why did this individual feel that they were able to use that word to insult me and the person I was with?”
Brown did take ownership of his bad behaviour and issued a full apology: “I’d like to make a public apology to Mr Douglas, to his friends and to Bafta for my offensive and stupid comments. The simple truth is that I had drunk far too much on the evening and my behaviour was totally unacceptable.
“Everyone who knows me knows I am not racist in any way whatsoever, but this incident has shown me that my drinking is way out of control and I need to take urgent measures to deal with it.”
Douglas and Brown did have a “full and frank conversation” about what happened and Brown confirmed he had been in touch with Douglas to apologize. He confirmed he would also be writing to Douglas to send a formal apology, in addition to the Bafta organisers.