Richard Madeley sparks backlash for out of touch race comments

GMB: Man turned down job interview over Afro hairstyle policy at The Ritz

Good Morning Britain presenters Richard Madeley and Ranvir Singh were joined by Jurelle Jules who applied for a job at The Ritz. He was later stunned when he found out he was banned from wearing an Afro hairstyle, leaving Richard confused as to what the big deal was. Viewers of the show expressed their outrage at Richard’s comments, and claimed he sounded “ignorant”.

Jurelle explained: “It was more the language that was used, the language could have been non-discriminatory, they could have said length of hair and I would have been quite ok about it.

“But the trouble is, I think to myself that I have daughters and now that they have got to be approached with jobs that discriminate against them before they are even able to get into these roles.”

Intrigued by what his next steps were, Richard asked what his next steps were and Jurelle revealed: “What I decided to do was send an email to my MP.

“I sent an email to the Metro as well. The Ritz gave me a callback, I believe someone from their PR team decided to call me instead of the person that offered me the job.

“She made me aware that their black hair stylist had looked at these documents before and had approved them.

“I was quite upset that they decided to use this sort of token as a way of deciding whether these rules would be ok.

“My biggest concern was that this was done in 2021, and I feel like the language used for something out of the 70s, something that my grandparents had to face when they came here.

“I felt like most companies that I have been to haven’t had policies like this and to see something like this was quite surprising, it was disconcerting for me as well.”

Marverine Cole also gave her experience with being discriminated against because of her hair which left Richard even more stunned.

“No one ever told you to do this, but you felt compelled to straighten your hair! Why do you think it happens?

“I can’t personally understand it, why would a corporation or a school or any kind of organisation have a problem with afro hair, I don’t understand.

Viewers of the show were left furious at Richard’s “naivety” and took to their Twitter accounts to express their anger.

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@Shine446777 fumed: “@richardm56 that interview about afro hair made you sound like white, male privilege personified. How are you so unaware of this issue? You’re so out of touch. #gmb.”

@londoncitymark penned: “@richardm56 ‘never crossed my mind it would be a problem for you’ referring to his black colleagues who face discrimination, shows the issue with this country in black and white. Pure ignorance @GMB #GMB #goodmorningbritain.”

Another fan said: “Richard and Ranvir sound like they’ve never met a black person before with the way they’re talking about afro hair. How have they never heard about this issue before?! #gmb

@dobry_nicola commented: “That is appalling. I have naturally wavy/curly hair that, frankly, never looks ‘tidy’. I wouldn’t have it any other way though…it is my natural hair. Assume though, as a white person, they wouldn’t bar me from a job for wearing my hair naturally. #gmb

@NicolaClareP added: “Richard said ‘That’s how your hair grows, if I let my hair grow it would look like blah blah etc’ So the idea is you look groomed and presentable maybe?

“I’m sure they wouldn’t want purple spiked hair, lots of piercings or tattoos on the show either.” (sic)

However, not all viewers were against Richard’s confusion, as @Carla_littlerob expressed: “If I turned up to an interview with bed hair, I wouldn’t expect to get a job either.

“Nothing to do with afro or not, if you don’t look presentable, especially in customer-facing jobs, you won’t get it. Simple really #gmb.” (sic)

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

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