That good ol' Leftist "sensitivity" again, obviously
"The BBC is at the centre of a diplomatic row after the Japanese Embassy protested about an episode of comedy quiz show QI. Tokyo says the show, hosted by Stephen Fry, insulted a man who survived both of the atomic bomb strikes that ended the Second World War.
Panellists and the studio audience were seen laughing and joking about the experience of Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who was described on the programme as ‘The Unluckiest Man in the World’.
The businessman was the only person who has been recognised by the Japanese government as having survived both the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and that of Nagasaki three days later. As many as 200,000 Japanese are said to have died in the bombings.
Mr Yamaguchi, who died last year at 93, was badly burned in the first attack but got on a train the next day to go home to Nagasaki.
On the episode of QI, which was first broadcast shortly before Christmas, comedians such as Alan Davies and Rob Brydon were seen joking about his story. Davies, when asked to work out what the man’s link to the nuclear attack was, suggested the ‘bomb landed on him and bounced off’.
When Fry asked whether the man had been lucky or unlucky, Brydon said: ‘Is the glass half-empty, is it half-full? Either way it’s radioactive. So don’t drink it.’ Davies chipped in: ‘He never got the train again, I tell you.’
But the jokes were too much for some Japanese viewers. One contacted diplomatic staff in London while others are understood to have emailed the show. Embassy officials reviewed the footage and sent a protest letter to both the BBC and producers Talkback Thames.
A QI producer said ‘we greatly regret it when we cause offence’ and admitted he ‘underestimated the potential sensitivity of this issue to Japanese viewers’. The BBC apologised for ‘any offence caused’ and said it would be writing to the Japanese Embassy.