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06th Feb 2023

BBC News issues apology after captioning image of Viola Davis with ‘Beyoncé’s big night’

Stephen Porzio


“This fell below the BBC’s usual standards.”

BBC News has issued an apology for captioning an image of Viola Davis with the headline “Beyoncé’s Big Night”.

The mistake occurred as the broadcaster reported on the Grammys which took place at the weekend and saw Beyoncé win four awards, including in the Best Dance/Electronic Music Album category with her record Renaissance.

With the victories, Beyoncé is now the most decorated Grammy artist of all time, having collected 32 trophies.

Meanwhile, Viola Davis also won on the night, taking home an award in the Best Audio Book, Narration and Storytelling Recording category for her memoir Finding Me.

This means that the actress has now earned EGOT status, having already picked up one Emmy, one Oscar and two Tonys.

Viewers noticed BBC News’ mistake and posted images and videos of the error to social media, with one writing: “Who’s going to tell BBC News?”

In a statement posted to the BBC News Press Team’s official Twitter on Monday (6 February), the broadcaster said:

“We apologise for the mistake last night when our news channels briefly showed a photograph of Viola Davis from January’s Golden Globes alongside a headline about Beyoncé at yesterday’s Grammys.

“This fell below the BBC’s usual standards.”

The error comes after last month when the BBC was forced to issue an apology after referring to Irish actor Paul Mescal as “British”.

This was after Mescal was nominated in the Best Actor category at the Oscars for his role in Aftersun.

Receiving the nod alongside British actor Bill Nighy for his turn in Living, BBC News said in text appearing onscreen: “2023 Oscar nominations: British actors Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy are nominated for leading role”.

Following criticism of the Normal People star being incorrectly claimed as British, the BBC published a statement reading:

“In text running across the screen, we reported that Paul Mescal was one of two British actors who had been nominated for an Oscar for a leading role.

“The text should have said that Paul Mescal is Irish. We apologise for the mistake.”

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