C5 rapped over Big Brother Hazel, Daley violence

4 comments - Posted on March 17 2014 at 01:38pm

Big Brother 2013 Secrets And Lies - Daley Ojuederie and Hazel O'Sullivan in bed

Media regulator Ofcom has reprimanded Channel 5 over its handling of the incident between Hazel O’Sullivan and Daley Ojuederie that led to the latter’s eviction from Big Brother 2013.

During last summer’s fourteenth series of the show, the boxer was removed by producers after his illicit relationship with the glamour model came to a head in the Safe House.

After Hazel removed the duvet cover from his bed and pulled down Daley’s shorts, he reacted violently, pinning her down with both arms and clasping her neck while making various threats.

Lines uttered by the 28-year-old included: “Respect your f****** elders, before I nut you one.”

Following 165 complaints from viewers, Ofcom launched an investigation examining whether the altercation – which also attracted the attention of local police – breached a rule in its broadcasting code stating that potentially offensive material must be justified by its context.

In its defence, Channel 5 pointed out that Big Brother has been on air for over a decade, and that viewers are in no doubt that they may witness “dramatic and confrontational behaviour”.

They said that they have a responsibility to broadcast major events in the house, arguing that what happened would have been “impossible” to ignore and that doing so would have compromised Big Brother’s “editorial integrity” and “misled” the audience.

C5 explained that the episode in question broke the show’s traditional format of featuring highlights from the previous day only, as Daley’s removal was shown immediately after the incident itself, even though his exit happened the following morning.

They also noted that the warning read out before its broadcast – alluding to “scenes of a sexual nature and some scenes that some viewers may find distressing” – was more specific than the usual cautions, but claimed that there was no need to give further details.

Meanwhile, C5 insisted that Hazel had not shown any signs of distress until immediately before Big Brother broke up the situation, despite Ofcom questioning them on particular actions and lines of dialogue from her exchange with Daley.

The verdict

Ofcom accepted that Big Brother has an established reputation, but said that what Daley did was “clearly capable of causing grave offence” to viewers.

Although C5 had argued that “similar scenes appear in dramas and films without complaint”, Ofcom’s view is that there’s a “distinct difference” between dramatised violence and violence in reality TV, as viewers recognise that producers play a role in setting up the scenarios involved.

The regulator agreed that there is “some merit” to the argument that C5 has a duty to provide an accurate portrayal of life in the house – so viewers can make informed voting decisions – but added that there is no “obligation” for them to air footage if it’s likely to cause offence.

Ofcom ruled that the warning before the episode wasn’t specific enough as it didn’t refer to violence, and that the advert break preceding the footage should also have featured a warning.

They dismissed C5’s opinion that Hazel hadn’t shown any distress, saying that her actions could have been interpreted differently and that Big Brother should have stepped in earlier.

They also suggested that Big Brother hadn’t sufficiently demonstrated that Daley’s behaviour was unacceptable during his visit to the Diary Room immediately after the intervention, noting that a more robust wording was used just before his exit.

As a result, Ofcom concluded that C5 had breached the broadcast code. Summing up its findings, they said: “In this difficult case, Ofcom’s view is that Channel 5 did take a number of steps to seek to contextualise the offence in this case, including compressing the incident into one broadcast so that viewers could see the outcome, and ultimately evicting Daley from the House as a result of his violent behaviour.

“However, the decision not to edit the material for the purpose of limiting offence – despite its clear potential to cause offence – coupled with the generalised nature of the pre-broadcast warning 40 minutes before the incident and the lack of clarity that Daley’s conduct was unacceptable when Big Brother first intervened led Ofcom to conclude that the offence to viewers was not justified by the context.”

The decision to pair Hazel and Daley for the Safe House public vote was voted Big Brother’s third worst production decision of 2013 in a bbspy poll in December.

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4 comments on this article

  1. BB_Superfan says:
    Mon 17 Mar Reply !

    This worries me a little as Ofcom seem to suggest Big Brother should edit events like this out of the show. They seem more concerned with “offence to viewers” than HM welfare.

  2. SS says:
    Mon 17 Mar Reply !


    Despite what some people seem to think, OFCOM are a broadcast/communications regulator, not points of view/the Big Brother police.

    So, of course OFCOM are more concerned with “offence to viewers” rather than HM welfare, as that’s what they do. Their duty is to the viewers, IE to protect the public from harmful or offensive material being broadcasted.

  3. Lewis Griffiths says:
    Mon 17 Mar Reply !

    ‘Sigh’ what a ridiculous outcome. I felt Channel 5 didn’t show enough of what actually happened when you look at the full live feed of the incident compared to what was shown.

    I guess this just means that Big Brother will continue to to be watered down. I hate Ofcom. I hate the 165 people who complained. In fact, I’m tempted to write to Ofcom to complain about Ofcom.

  4. Anthony says:
    Tue 18 Mar Reply !

    Ofcom who do you complain to about Ofcom thats what I’d like to know. IMO Ofcom should just Offcom them salfs. Please before anybody moaning I didn’t agree or like this H+D. I just don’t like Ofcom.

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