LONDON — What was meant to be a friendly chat to promote the new “X-Men” movie turned into a frosty discussion about race on a popular morning radio program, but the British Broadcasting Corp. defended its disc jockey.
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry appeared on Chris Moyles’ Radio One breakfast show Thursday and clashed with her host after he impersonated what he described as a “big, fat, black guy.”
“Are we having a racist moment here?” Berry, the first black actress to win an Academy Award for a lead role, asked Moyles after she took exception to his impersonation. Moyles, who is white, said he just couldn’t do American accents.
“There was nothing racist in what Chris said, and he made that clear on air,” a BBC spokesman said Friday on condition of anonymity, in line with the corporation’s policy.
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The exchange began when Hugh Jackman, Berry’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” co-star, jokingly suggested that Moyles might take the role of his body double if he ever landed the part of James Bond.
“I could definitely do that,” Moyles said before adding, “Put your hands in the air!”
A somewhat puzzled Jackman replied, “Are you some kind of Brooklyn Bond?”
Moyles replied: “I’m a black American guy. A big, fat, black guy. Put your hands up in the air.”
The interview continued, though the DJ later said Berry was “ratty” — British slang for grouchy.
Berry won an Oscar in 2002 for her role in “Monster’s Ball.”
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