LONDON — U.K. Channel 4, already in trouble with regulators and the public over racist bullying on “Celebrity Big Brother” and for airing photos of Princess Diana’s crash, took no chances over a new row.
A contestant in the latest U.K. edition of “Big Brother” was evicted Wednesday after she used a racist term to refer to a housemate.
Although contestant Emily Parr claimed the comment was a joke, Channel 4 wanted to avoid the risk of another embarrassment.
Parr was dancing with two other contestants in the “Big Brother” house Wednesday night when she was heard to say, “Are you pushing it out, you nigger?” to a black housemate.
The comment was edited from a live stream aired by sister web E4 and brought to the attention of the production team.
Channel 4 execs were then consulted and it was then decided to evict Parr.
Interviewed on Sky News, Channel 4’s “Big Brother” commissioning editor Angela Jain said: “That word that Emily used was clearly a racially offensive word. We felt we had to take the appropriate course of action.
“I think it’s very important that viewers have the opportunity to see the conversation in context and see how we made a proportionate response.”
Last week, the station was forced to apologize on air following a ruling by regulator Ofcom after alleged racist bullying of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in the winter season of “Celebrity Big Brother” led to tens of thousands of complaints from British viewers.
Earlier this week, Channel 4 was again at the center of controversy when it refused to accede to the wishes of Princes William and Harry to cut images of the car crash in which their mother, Princess Diana, was killed in August 1997 from a documentary broadcast Wednesday.