Sunday, December 23, 2012

BBC apologises after Mensa spokesman said people with IQ of 60 are 'carrots'

The BBC and Mensa have apologised after a spokesman for the society described anyone with an IQ of below 60 as a ''carrot'' live on air. Mensa member Peter Baimbridge made the comments while being interviewed on BBC Breakfast, sparking complaints from viewers. He was being asked about the effectiveness of IQ tests at judging intelligence. ''So most IQ tests will have Mr and Mrs Average scoring 100 and the higher you get, the brighter you are.

"And if your IQ is somewhere around 60 then you are probably a carrot," Mr Baimbridge said. After the interview with presenters Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt, some of the complaints were read out on air. The hosts then apologised at the end of the programme and read out a personal apology from Mr Baimbridge. British Mensa apologised for the comment, which was ''totally inappropriate and does not represent the society's official position or view''.

YouTube link.

A BBC spokeswoman said: ''A number of viewers contacted BBC Breakfast this morning, who were offended by comments made by a contributor during a live interview on the programme. Following the initial item, we broadcast a selection of the complaints on-air a short time later in the programme, and both presenters apologised at the end of the programme and read out a personal apology from the contributor. Clearly we do not condone the comments that were made in any way and sincerely apologise for the offence caused.''

Mensa chief executive John Stevenage said: ''We would like to apologise for any offence caused by Peter Baimbridge's remark. It most certainly does not reflect the views of the society or of our members. The society looks at levels of IQ. However, it fully recognises that it is not what level of mental ability someone has but what they do with it that is the real achievement in life. Peter himself very much regrets the comment and would like to offer sincere apologies to those people offended by the remark.'' According to Mencap, 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability.


BoS said...

Is anyone surprised that a member of that particular organisation is an arrogant, self-important arse? He may very well have a high IQ (which proves what, exactly?) but he's got the EQ of a cabbage.

WilliamRocket said...

As a cabbage, I object to the previous comment.

BoS said...

My apologies, it was crassly insensitive of me. No offence meant to your good cabbagey self or any other cruciferous commenter.

Insolitus said...

No, I am not surprised at all, since I know Mensans are people. I am also not at all suprised that an anonymous person on the internet is criticizing someone by doing the exact thing for which they are criticising the other person. Because he or she is also just a human being.