Ofcom investigating Bit On The Side for transphobia

- Posted on October 27 2015 at 09:41am

Celebrity Big Brother summer 2015: UK vs. USA presenter Rylan Clark

Ofcom has launched an investigation in to allegations of transphobia on an episode of Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit On The Side from the recent UK vs. USA series.

The 5* broadcast on Saturday 5th September featured a game in which producers asked punters in London to guess what the American housemates are famous for.

Presenter Rylan Clark asked panellists Rustie Lee, James ‘Arg’ Argent and Luisa Zissman to guess the most popular response for Farrah Abraham from three choices – ‘appearing on 16 and Pregnant‘, ‘winning mother of the year’, and ‘winning a transsexual contest’.

All three panellists answered option C – and Rylan went on to reveal that half of respondents gave the correct answer of 16 and Pregnant, adding: “the other half… we won’t even go there”.

Ofcom received one complaint, claiming the segment “presented being a transsexual as a joke”, and after assessing it has decided to launch a full investigation.

A spokesperson for the media regulator told the Mirror: “We’re investigating whether potentially offensive comments in this programme were justified by the context in which they were presented.”

Support group Transgender Zone has frequently praised Big Brother for its representation of transgender people, and has awarded the show at least three of its annual Transgender Television Awards for Best Programme, one of which host Emma Willis filmed an acceptance speech for.

Meanwhile, Ofcom is still considering whether to investigate the 23rd September episode of BOTS, which was notably taken off air ten minutes early after Farrah and Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace engaged in a fight that left Vicki Michelle injured.

According to The Mirror, Farrah and Janice Dickinson received police cautions over their roles in the incident, although no action was taken against Aisleyne.

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