Racist remarks tinge British reality show

Jan. 17, 2007 at 11:47 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The British media watchdog said it was investigating viewer complaints about the treatment of an Indian star on the reality show "Celebrity Big Brother."

Thousands of complaints to the Office of Communications and the station reported racist remarks against Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, the BBC said Wednesday. The show brings celebrities together in a house without access to the outside world.

Parliament member Keith Vaz said remarks made on the show "are just not acceptable in this day and age."

Chancellor Gordon Brown said he wanted Britain to be viewed as "a country of fairness and tolerance. Anything detracting from this I condemn," Sky News reported

One housemate reportedly suggested that Indians were thin because they undercooked their food, becoming ill. Others were seen poking fun at Shetty's accent.

Three women also complained Shetty touched others' food. One reportedly said, "You don't know where those hands have been."

A spokesman for Carphone Warehouse, the show's sponsor, said, "We are against racism in any shape or form and have full faith in Channel 4 and that they will deal with any serious allegations such as this in the appropriate way."

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