Newsbeat

Celebrity Big Brother: 1,000 complaints over use of N-word

Rodrigo Alves Image copyright Reuters

More than 1,000 complaints have been made about Celebrity Big Brother to the media watchdog Ofcom - after just five days of it being on air.

They relate to when contestant Rodrigo Alves used the N-word in a conversation with another housemate.

Some viewers suggested Channel 5 should have removed him from the show for using the offensive word.

Producers gave him a "final warning" and said if he repeated the language he would be evicted from the house.

Ofcom said it has received 1,048 complaints about the incident, which was shown on the second day of the reality TV show.

Rodrigo used the word when describing what kind of partner he preferred.

Ofcom is currently deciding whether action will be taken against Channel 5 for its handling of the incident.

"We will assess these against the broadcasting code before deciding whether to take it forward for investigation," it said in a statement.

Viewers have compared producers' response to Rodrigo's language to that of Emily Parr - a contestant who was on the show 2007.

She was removed five days into the programme after she used the same word in a conversation with housemates.

'Stop rewarding this behaviour'

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dan Osborne, Hardeep Singh Kohli and Jermaine Pennant are all in the current series

But it's not just Rodrigo's behaviour that's caused controversy on this year's Celebrity Big Brother.

Former Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp criticised the inclusion of Hardeep Singh Kohli, Dan Osborne and Jermaine Pennant on the show - as all three have previously been accused of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Hardeep was dropped from the BBC's The One Show in 2009 following a complaint of inappropriate behaviour from a female colleague.

In 2015 a recording of Dan apparently threatening to stab his ex-partner if she slept with another man was shared by UK tabloids. He later said he was sorry for the incident.

Jermaine wrote in his 2018 autobiography how Premier League footballers paid "rent" to each other if they slept with a woman that another footballer had had sex with - in a game based on Monopoly.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Hardeep apologised over the 2009 incident

"We must stop celebrating and rewarding this behaviour," wrote Nicola in a Twitter thread about Celebrity Big Brother.

"[Big Brother] has given both him [Hardeep] and Dan Osbourne a platform to attempt to redeem themselves in the public eye and to kick start their careers," she added.

"While women are still scared to report sexual harassment at work for fear of ruining their own careers, Hardeep is taking money for having done it."

The programme has also upset viewers with a task based on Donald Trump's promises to build a wall between the US and Mexico and the families who have been separated on the border.

The current series of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 is the last in a three-year contract with the channel.

Newsbeat has contacted Channel 5 for a comment.

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