'Big Brother' call profits go to charities

Jan. 19, 2007 at 12:18 PM
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LONDON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Profits from viewers' eviction-voting calls for the British reality show "Celebrity Big Brother" will be donated to charity, the network said.

The show has come under fire recently as viewers raised charges of racist remarks and bullying by housemates against Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said Thursday money from the telephone vote would be distributed between charities nominated by the show's contestants.

One housemate, Jade Goody, apologized to the Indian actress, saying she does not judge people "by the color of their skin," the BBC said Friday. The show's sponsor has suspended its support for the program and the government's Office of Communications said it received more than 36,000 complaints so far.

The channel has stood by its program. Noting the debate surrounding the show has been heated and uncomfortable at times, Chief Executive Andy Duncan said, "In my view, it is unquestionably a good thing that the program has raised these issues and provoked such a debate."

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