‘Would you have said that to a man?’ Nick Robinson is branded ‘sexist’ by Radio 4 listeners after he asks Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies if she’s a ‘nanny’ to the nation’s health
- The Radio 4 host was pulled up on the use of the word ‘nannying’ in an interview with Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies on the Today programme today
- Robinson and professor discussed screen time recommendations for children
- He used the word ‘nannying’ to describe Davies approach, to which she said: ‘I wonder whether you would say that to a male chief medical officer…’
- On Twitter, many agreed that the wording had suggested a sexist tone
- Robinson clarified his words, saying: ‘I said you are often accused of being a nanny, I didn’t say I accused you of being a nanny’
Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies chastised BBC Radio 4 presenter Nick Robinson after he used the term ‘nannying’ during an interview with her this morning.
Clearly offended by the remark, the professor, who was on the show to discuss how much screen time is recommended by the government for children, said: ‘I wonder whether you would say that to a male Chief Medical Officer.’
On social media, some listeners of the Today programme said Dame Sally was right to pull up Robinson on his choice of words, with many accusing him of being ‘sexist’.
Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies gave BBC Radio 4 host Nick Robinson short shrift this morning after his line of questioning used the word ‘nannying’. Following the question, the professor said: ‘I wonder whether you would say that to a male chief medical officer…’
Robinson (pictured above with co-host John Humphreys) clarified what he meant during the interview, saying: I said you are often accused of being a nanny, I didn’t say I accused you of being a nanny. However, many listeners said on social media they thought he had been ‘sexist’
The conversation between the pair took a frosty turn when Robinson put to Davies that the advice from the review, published today, stated the obvious.
He out to her: ‘You always have this question so I know you’re familiar with it, but this balance you have to get between nannying on the one hand, or being accused of it at least, and on the other hand, sort of banality, stating things that are obvious’.
The professor responded: ‘I thought you were going to be sexist.’
Robinson replied asking which part of his questioning could be perceived as sexist, to which Davies responded: ‘I wonder whether you would say that to a male chief medical officer…’
Robinson fired back: ‘No, I said you are often accused of being a nanny, I didn’t say I accused you of being a nanny. You are often said are you not?’
On Twitter, listeners seemed in support of Dame Sally, with one saying: ‘Enjoyed Professor Sally Davies @CMO_England clapping back at Nick Robinson’s sexism this am’
Clearly unimpressed, Davies offered a one-word riposte: ‘Clever’.
On Twitter, many who heard the discourse, which focused on the findings of a review published today about the impact of screens on children’s lives, said Robinson had been sexist.
@ChellaRamanan wrote: ‘Enjoyed Professor Sally Davies @CMO_England clapping back at Nick Robinson’s sexism this am.
@foremanwrites agreed, writing: ‘Three cheers for Professor Dame Sally Davies calling out Nick Robinson’s sexism on @BBCr4today just now.’
@DrMegThomas chimed in: ‘Well done to chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies for picking up Nick Robinson for being #sexist ‘nanny state’ I ask you.’
@sampetherick added: ‘I bet Nick Robinson is still nursing his injuries after that encounter with Dame Sally Davies.’
@simonhoban disagreed that Robinson’s remarks had a sexist tone, saying: ‘Chief Medical Officer accuses Nick Robinson of sexism after he literally just asks a general policy question #R4today’.