‘It’s not about sides’: James O’Brien makes brilliant point over Boris Johnson subtitling row

PUBLISHED: 12:32 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 22:20 06 December 2019

James O'Brien has stepped into the furore over a Boris Johnson quote which the Conservative party later clarified. Picture: LBC/Channel 4 News

James O'Brien has stepped into the furore over a Boris Johnson quote which the Conservative party later clarified. Picture: LBC/Channel 4 News

LBC/Channel 4 News

James O’Brien has stepped in with an excellent point after a social media furore exploded over a disputed subtitle in which Boris Johnson was quoted as referring to ‘people of colour’.

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The clip in question was shared by Channel 4 News and subtitled Boris Johnson as saying to a crowd of supporters that he is "in favour of having people of colour come to this country but I think we should have it democratically controlled".

The Conservative Party has since told the programme that Johnson actually said the phrase "people of talent" in the unclear audio, and the broadcaster has deleted the tweet with this subtitling.

But in the space of less than an hour, Twitter users were avidly discussing the clip, with many who believed the Channel 4 News subtitling, condemning Johnson for racism.

Commenting, LBC host James O'Brien has said he agrees that the prime minister in fact was speaking of "people of talent", despite his famed opposition to Johnson's politics - and used that stance to make a bigger point about political conduct.

"This is actually really helpful," said O'Brien. "Because social media is going absolutely nuts claiming has been explicitly racist about people of colour.

"I, as someone who routinely points out his dishonesties and deceptions, can now demonstrate to you that it's not about sides.

"I don't think he said 'people of colour'. I think he said 'people of talent'. I think that the Twitter mob have got this horribly wrong on this occasion.

"See how easy it is? You don't have to be 100% critical or 100% complimentary. You can be 100% honest."

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