Celebrity Big Brother cleared by Ofcom
Wednesday 27 May 2009
This year's Celebrity Big Brother, which saw rapper Coolio the focus of many complaints, did not breach broadcasting rules, Ofcom has found.
The regulator received 527 complaints about the show, eventually won by Ulrika Jonsson, the majority relating to viewers feeling that housemates had been bullied.
This year's show, broadcast in January, saw complaints about the manner in which Coolio behaved towards women in the house, including former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton.
The regulator said: "It appeared clear to viewers that Coolio enjoyed baiting and teasing female housemates. However, when Coolio teased Michelle for allegedly having feelings for another housemate (Ben Adams) she became very upset.
"Sensing he had hit a nerve, Coolio continued to tease her about it."
Ofcom said that Big Brother talked to Michelle and Coolio separately in the Diary Room and Michelle appeared comforted.
Coolio appeared genuinely disconcerted when told that some of his behaviour could be seen as intimidating, the regulator found.
The pair apologised to each other and the feud was settled.
Ofcom said: "In Ofcom's view Coolio was a 'larger than life' character in the house, playing the role for many viewers of the 'villain of the piece' where such a role, after 10 years of Big Brother, is generally expected by the audience."
Channel 4 welcomed the ruling about this year's show, saying in a statement: "Conflicts can arise within the Big Brother House, but both the producers and commissioning editors encourage housemates to work differences out amongst themselves initially."
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