Celebrity Big Brother Avoids Investigation After Homophobic Comments
The U.K. television station Channel 5 will not be reprimanded for airing homophobic comments on the reality show Celebrity Big Brother, reports Daily Mail.
The popular show’s current season cast member, Winston McKenzie — who is also a former U.K. Independence Party member and London mayoral candidate, set off a storm of controversy when he made antigay comments during an early episode of the British reality series.
“I’d cope with a homosexual in the house, I guess I just have to be standing against a brick wall all the time,” he said during his Celebrity Big Brother prerecorded intro.
His comment led more than 400 viewers who were outraged Channel 5 would air such hate speech, to file complaints with U.K. broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.
Ofcom responded with a statement that the broadcast channel had been warned, but no further investigation would take place at this time. “We are satisfied that Channel 5 broadcast clear and appropriate warnings about the potentially offensive content, and intervened in heated exchanges and situations at appropriate times,” a representative for Ofcom said in a statement. “We have also taken into account the audience’s expectations of this well-established reality format, and that the series is aired after the watershed.”
McKenzie has a long past making public antigay remarks and faced similar backlash in 2012 after he compared the adoption of kids by same-sex couples with child abuse.
"A caring loving home is a heterosexual or single family. I don't believe [a gay couple] is healthy for a child," he told the Croydon Guardian.