BJohnson
© Reuters/Peter Nicholls
UK PM Boris Johnson
British broadcaster Channel 4 has apologized for, and deleted, a video misquoting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as saying he wanted democratic control over the migration of "people of color."

The erroneous and now-corrected video was posted on Twitter by Channel 4 and showed Johnson answering questions at a factory in Derbyshire while on the campaign trail ahead of the UK general election.

Channel 4 quoted him as saying: "I am in favour of having people of colour come to this country but I think we should have it democratically controlled," despite him actually saying "people of talent."


Channel 4 has since deleted the video and issued an apology, tweeting: "Boris Johnson says 'people of talent' not 'people of colour.' Our earlier tweet was a mistake. We misheard and we apologise."

Online reaction to the blunder was swift and relentless. "It's clear he said 'talent' and you'd only be led to believe Boris said colour if you'd been guided to believe so by the incorrect subtitles. This is absolutely bloody outrageous from Channel 4, once again," conservative commentator Darren Grimes tweeted.



The clip ensnared a few high profile politicians, who were ready to believe that Johnson had made another questionable remark. Labour's Shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner described it as an "extraordinary slip of the Johnson mask" having apparently missed the correction and apology by Channel 4.

"'I've just re-listened to the clip multiple times and it sounds very much like he said 'colour,'" Lib Dem candidate Chuka Umunna reportedly tweeted before subsequently deleting the post. "This is a man with form and now he's asking us all for the benefit of the doubt. Why on earth should we give it to him after the various racist things he has said?"

LBC's James O'Brien called out Channel 4 and the hordes of online reactionaries furiously tweeting about the imagined racism, saying that the broadcaster dropped a "fairly hefty clanger" and that the "Twitter mob have got this horribly wrong on this occasion."

Prime Minister Johnson has repeatedly been accused of racism over a number of controversial remarks he has written in newspaper columns over the years, including comparing women dressed in the burka to letterboxes. He also previously referred to people from Africa as "crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies" with "watermelon smiles," though he claimed those remarks were taken out of context.