Skip to content

Shakespeare quote forces TV presenter to quit

Step 1 – TV presenter tweets using a quote from Shakespeare.

Step 2 – One person complains to the presenter’s bosses that the quote is offensive and racist

Step 3 – TV presenter is forced to quit his job.

The TV presenter is veteran ITV newsreader Alastair Stewart who is stepping down from his presenting duties following “errors of judgment in [Alastair’s] use of social media”, ITN has said.

The presenter – who deleted his Twitter account before the announcement – said in a statement: “It was a misjudgement which I regret, but it’s been a privilege to bring the news to households throughout the UK for the past 40 years.”

In an internal email, ITN staff were told that the decision, also backed by ITV, followed behaviour that breached ITN’s editorial guidelines.

ITN declined to provide details of Stewart’s behaviour. But his departure comes three weeks after a public social media spat in which he sent a Shakespeare quote to a black Twitter user including the phrase “angry ape”.

The full passage from the play Measure for Measure reads:

‘But man, proud man,
‘Dress’d in a little brief authority,
‘Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d—
‘His glassy essence—like an angry ape
‘Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
‘As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
‘Would all themselves laugh mortal’

The complaint was made by Martin Shapland, a 34 year old “policy manager” at the London based Institution of Civil Engineers. After Stewart’s tweet, Shapland wrote: “Just an ITV newsreader referring to me as an ape with the cover of Shakespeare … Alistair is a disgrace.”

ITV suits were quick to get Alastair Stewart removed from his news anchor role. Some have speculated there were other motives as his colleagues have been publicly coming to his defence. Stewart has spent his entire career mentoring people from all backgrounds.

Mr. Shapland appears to be one of those people who are permanently offended and particularly finds white people offensive as his Twitter history reveals. He bemoans “white privilege” a term liberally used by those who have a massive chip on their shoulder. Shapland has deleted his vile Twitter feed but not before it was captured for eternity.

Shapland's deleted Twitter account shows he clearly has an issue with "white people" particularly white males.
Shapland’s deleted Twitter account shows he clearly has an issue with “white people” particularly white males.

In reality the people with “privilege” are those from or claiming to be from special protected minority groups and who are using that new founded privilege by playing the race card, a handy device used by spiteful individuals to get their victims castigated and vilified by a compliant media who love to use the term “race row” on their front pages, people investigated by the police and sacked by bosses who have no moral backbone.

Shapland’s petulant actions may well backfire. Questions should be asked of the Institution of Civil Engineers if one of their manager’s actions is representative of that august body. It must be an uncomfortable environment for “white people” with a hectoring self-important avowed anti-white racist such as Shapland in the workplace.

Details on how to contact the ICE can be found here on the ICE website.