Alan Sugar, ennobled by the party he spends so much time slagging off, is no stranger to social media controversy, which for him usually means being an idiot on Twitter. He also has previous for being called for racism on, yes, Twitter. So it should have surprised no-one when m’Lord opened mouth and inserted boot in no style at all this morning with what he clearly thought was a jolly bit of World Cup fun.
Somebody take that phone off him!
Sugar decided to make what he clearly thought was a joke about the Senegal team, but not, repeat not, repeat NOT because they were black, you understand. He took the photo of the team and added images of sunglasses and handbags laid out on towels, saying “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi tasking resourceful chaps”. This duly went down like the proverbial cup of cold sick.
Babita Sharma of BBC World News was one of many passing adverse comment: “A shocking, vile tweet that you take a screen grab of because you know it will soon be deleted”. Paul Waugh of the Huff Post added “Utterly disgraceful. And the 'it was only a joke' line is even more pathetic”. What say m’Lord to that?
After Waugh also took a screen grab, Sugar sniped “why did you re tweet it ...if it is so bad”. After Hannah al-Othman of BuzzFeed News concluded “This is not an okay Tweet”, he was equally combative: “why not it is meant to be funny ....... for god sake”. The punctuation just got fired. And there was more.
Alex Barton wondered “How long before he gets told to apologise for this?” to which The Great Man did some more punctuation murdering as he snapped back “I cant see what I have to apologise for .... you are OTT ... its a bloody joke”. And almost as an aside, he decided to kick Ms Sharma, while he was on a roll. “if it so vile why have you retweeted it . You make me sick”. It’s that cold sick again. But then came the inevitable recantation.
“Just been reading the reaction to my funny tweet about the guy on the beach in Marbella . Seems it has been interpreted in the wrong way as offensive by a few people . Frankly I cant see that I think it's funny. But I will pull it down if you insist” he conceded.
That was not enough for Kelechi Okafor, who asked “Why take it down if it was so funny and not racist in any way @Lord_Sugar ?? Had you even washed your bum or brushed your teeth before you jumped online to tweet such trash??” By this time, m’Lord could only manage an indignant “if its so bad why have you re tweeted it”.
By this time, the adverse comment was raining down on Sugar, and rightly so, with his “they all look the same” jest. It was left to Paul Waugh to say what many were already thinking: “Sugar clearly has more in common with Trump than just hosting The Apprentice”.
Alan Sugar has clearly forgotten Denis Thatcher’s dictum: “better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”. Lord Sugar - You’re fired.