BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker responds after backlash for apologizing as Ukrainian singer swears at Putin
Dan Walker stepped in and apologized when a Ukrainian singer swore live on BBC Breakfast.
Presenter and co-host Sally Nugent was joined by Maria Burmaka via video link from her home in Kyiv.
The musician placed a loudspeaker in the window of her apartment and sang the Ukrainian national anthem in the heart of the capital amid the Russian offensive.
She told the show: “The Ukrainian anthem is very important for all Ukrainians and I’m a musician and I decided to take my amplifier and open the window and sing in the neighborhoods.
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“My building is on one of the hills and all the neighborhoods hear this anthem.”
Maria said from her window she could see Russian forces shelling the Holocaust memorial in the city and that she had taken refuge in the parking lot under her building, which she described as ‘cold and scary’ .
She added: “I’m crying and I don’t want anyone to see me crying because I have to be strong, but that’s fascism.
“I ask all lords to help and support us, you must know what horror is here.”
When asked if she had been tempted to flee Ukraine, she replied: “I’m staying here now, I want to stay here, a lot of people are leaving Ukraine but… I won’t flee my hometown, it’s This is my home and I want to stay here. To be here in the heart of Kyiv and sing for my people and maybe I’ll sing my national anthem again from this window.”
Maria continued: “I want to say to Putin, you are a murderer, you are an aggressor, Ukraine has never been against Russia.
“As our soldiers say, ‘Fuck you. “”
Dan quickly interrupted her to say, “I really understand the depth of the feelings, but I have to apologize to our viewers for the language used.”
He added: “Excuse me for the language, but I’m sure watching this morning you understand how strong Maria’s feelings are and so many people in Ukraine are trying to defend themselves, protect their families and to take care of their country.”
Strictly star Dan later took to Twitter to offer his apology.
“What a pleasure to speak to Maria Burmaka on #BBCBreakfast live from Kyiv this morning,” he said.
“I had to apologize for the language at the end but that doesn’t mean you can’t empathize and understand the depth of feelings and I think 99% of people understand that. Thanks for all the messages.”
He added: “Thank you for all the messages.”
His clarification comes as BBC Breakfast viewers were annoyed that he issued an apology before having to end the interview.
@wildbrianjones tweeted: “I can’t believe Dan Walker cut a Ukrainian woman off because she said the ‘F’ word on BBC Breakfast and apologized to viewers. If people are upset with her tongue, there’s something wrong with them! This lady is in a war zone! Show some sensitivity Dan!!! @BBCBreakfast.”
“Dan Walker cuts a woman expressing passionate emotions from a war zone. Does the BBC have its priorities in putting language on naked suffering, pain and oppression? There’s no problem with the apology. It’s the complete silence of his voice that’s most disturbing,” @ESiheraESC said.
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