British historian dropped by publisher for racist remarks

By July 6, 2020Authors, News

David Starkey has been dropped by HarperCollins after making racist remarks about Black people.

The publishing company dropped the historian and television presenter David Starkey as an author, stating that remarks he made in a recent interview were “abhorrent”.

Starkey had spoken to the right-wing commentator Darren Grimes, and stated that “slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain would there? You know, an awful lot of them survived.”

Former UK chancellor Sajid Javid said the comments were racist and “a reminder of the appalling views that still exist” in Britain. Historian David Olusoga agreed, saying the comments were “truly disgusting”.

HarperCollins then gave a statement:

“The views expressed by David Starkey in his recent interview are abhorrent and we unreservedly condemn them. Our last book with the author was in 2010, and we will not be publishing further books with him. We are reviewing his existing backlist in light of his comments and views.”

Publishers of Starkey’s previous works, Hodder & Stoughton, also said they’d not publish him again:

“We unequivocally condemn racism in any form. We published a book by David Starkey in 2015 as a one off project to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta to coincide with a TV documentary. We will not be publishing any further books by him.”

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