Media regulator Ofcom has announced its decision on the race row that errupted in the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ house earlier this year involving Shilpa Shetty.
Ofcom has ordered Channel 4 to air a series of apologies after discoveries were made of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ footage of an offensive, racist limerick made up and read out by contestant Jade Goody.
Channel 4 will have to broadcast a summary of Ofcom’s finding on three separate occasions.
-Immediately before the start of the broadcast of the first programme of the eighth series of Big Brother on Channel 4
-Immediately before the start of the broadcast of the first re-versioned programme of the eighth series of Big Brother on Channel 4
-Immediately before the start of the broadcast of the programme in which the first eviction from the eighth series of Big Brother occurs on Channel 4
Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said: “Ofcom takes allegations of racist abuse and bullying on television extremely seriously.
“An unprecedented number of complaints were received and, whilst ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ was still on-air, we launched a full investigation.
“It is essential that broadcasters are able to air challenging and controversial material but in doing so they must have effective compliance procedures in place and must exercise their editorial duties responsibly.”
Channel 4 said it accepted the ruling.
Chief executive Andy Duncan said: “We accept Ofcom’s judgement that on the occasions in question we did not ensure that ‘Big Brother’ intervened with the necessary promptness or strength. We would like to say sorry once again for the offence caused to viewers as a result.
“Ofcom did not rule this material should not have been broadcast, but that we should have done more to contextualise it by challenging and reprimanding the offending housemates.”
‘Big Brother 8’ starts on Channel 4 next Wednesday.