Big Brother UK: Ofcom receives 1,225 complaints about racist abuse
Channel 5's Big Brother is facing a string of investigations by Ofcom after more than 1,200 complaints about incidents including a black contestant being called a gorilla and housemates labelled retards.
The media regulator is investigating three incidents, which have attracted a total of 1,225 complaints, to see they breach the UK broadcasting code.
The incident that prompted the most complaints from viewers, 1,108, involved housemate Conor McIntyre being abusive to Miss India UK title holder Deana Uppal. McIntyre was warned about his behaviour by Big Brother, in which he used a string of expletives and called her "a piece of shit". The incident occurred at 9.40pm on 25 June on Richard Desmond's Channel 5 show.
The second incident involved housemate Caroline Wharram calling Adam Kelly, a black contestant, a "ridiculous gorilla ... with no sanitation". Ofcom received 114 complaints from viewers about the perceived racial slur which occurred on 28 June at 10.25pm.
On 4 July, a former Big Brother housemate, Victor Ebuwa, appeared on spin-off show Big Brother's Bit on the Side. Ebuwa referred to the housemates as functioning retards, which prompted three complaints to Ofcom. The incident occurred at 11.20pm.
"Channel 5 is committed to complying with Ofcom's broadcasting code and will help to facilitate a speedy investigation into this particular episode of Big Brother and Big Brother's Bit on the Side," said a spokesman for the broadcaster.
A spokeswoman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said it would not be looking at the incidents as broadcast falls outside of its enforcement remit.