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Celebrity Big Brother Avoids Investigation After Homophobic Comments

Celebrity Big Brother Avoids Investigation After Homophobic Comments

Winston McKenzie

The popular British reality series escaped reprimand after airing antigay hate speech in an early episode this season. 

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.

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