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BBC News Presenter Refers to Booker Winner Bernardine Evaristo as 'Another Author', Twitter Erupts

'How quickly and casually they have removed my name from history', Evaristo, who won the 2019 Booker jointly with Margaret Atwood in October, wrote on Twitter.

News18.com

Updated:December 5, 2019, 8:36 AM IST
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BBC News Presenter Refers to Booker Winner Bernardine Evaristo as 'Another Author', Twitter Erupts
Bernardine Evaristo has called out BBC for referring to her as 'another author' despite her joint Booker 2019 win with Margaret Atwood | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

Months after authors Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo jointly won the 2019 Booker Prize, a BBC news presenter has caused controversy by referring to Evaristo as "another author".

In October, Bernardine became the first woman of colour to win the prestigious literary award since its inception in 1969. The joint win also came for the first time since 1992 after the jury "flouted" Booker rules that forbade the sharing of the prize after claiming they "couldn't separate" Atwood's 'The Testament' and 'Girl, Woman, Other' by Evaristo.

However, on Tuesday's coverage of the Turner Award, BBC's news presenter Shaun Ley, while referring to Evaristo, called her "another writer" instead of addressing her by name. "The Booker prize was shared by Margaret Atwood and another author", Ley said, causing instant outrage on social media and off it.

Evaristo herself pointed out the casual dismissal.by the journalist.

"The BBC described me yesterday as 'another author' apropos The Booker Prizes 2019. How quickly and casually they have removed my name from history - the first black woman to win it. This is what we've always been up against, folks," she wrote on Twitter while sharing a video of Ley.

Social media has been up in arms against the mishap with many finding it ironic that Evaristo, who won the Booker for a novel based on the experience of discrimination and otherness experienced by women of colour in Britain, had to face such dismissal despite winning one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world.

Yet others brought up the older debate over whether the judges should have chosen two winners for the prize at all. At the time the award was announced, many felt that giving it to both Evaristo and Atwood, who is already a household name thanks to the critical and commercial success of The Handmaid's Tale. Many claimed that putting Bernardino on the same podium as Atwood was unfair to the former who was still making a name for herself among international masses.

BBC has since put out an apology for the incident, stating the "phrasing" was "unscripted" adding that they apologised for the offence caused.

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