Big Brother Sponsors Could Pull The Plug Over Ofcom 'Bullying' Investigation

10 July 2012
Big Brother Sponsors Could Pull The Plug Over Ofcom 'Bullying' Investigation
Big Brother Sponsors Could Pull The Plug Over Ofcom 'Bullying' Investigation

Big Brother sponsors Schwarzkopf could pull out of their £2m deal with the reality show depending on the results of Ofcom's probe into racist and aggressive behaviour.

The watchdog is investigating an incident from earlier in the series when housemate Conor McIntyre was seen making disgraceful comments about rival Deana Uppal. The scene in question resulted in over 1,000 viewer complaints.

Ofcom will also look into an episode in which Caroline Wharram called black contestant Adam Kelly a "ridiculous gorilla", which received 114 complaints; and another where former housemate Victor Ebuwa used the term "retards" to describe the group on Big Brother's Bit On The Side.

A spokeswoman for Schwarzkopf is quoted by The Guardian as saying: "We are prevented by law from influencing editorial content or policy as this responsibility rests firmly with the makers of the show."

Dodging a question about whether the company will stand by its sponsorship, she added: "We will continue to closely monitor the situation, but it would not be appropriate to comment any further at this stage of Ofcom's investigation."

A spokesperson from Channel 5 said the broadcaster 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."

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