Entertainment

I'm A Celebrity… ‘bullying' and animal welfare complaints rejected

Ofcom rejected the complaints saying they had been assessed and would not be investigated.

Complaints about alleged bullying and animal welfare on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! have been rejected by TV watchdog Ofcom.

Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright’s behaviour towards jungle campmate Andrew Maxwell sparked 83 complaints about alleged bullying.

The issue of animal welfare across the latest ITV series led to 102 complaints.

Ian Wright
Ian Wright was on I’m A Celebrity (ITV)

And a comment by former rugby player James Haskell describing Wright as having a “clubfoot”, a congenital condition that causes the foot to turn inward or downward, provoked 119 complaints.

But Ofcom rejected the complaints saying that they had been assessed and would not be investigated.

The watchdog looks at complaints it receives against the broadcasting code to see whether they merit further investigation.

James Haskell arrives back at Heathrow Airport after the 2019 series of I’m A Celebrity
James Haskell arrives back at Heathrow Airport after the 2019 series of I’m A Celebrity (Steve Parsons/PA)

On the subject of animal welfare, an Ofcom spokeswoman said that “while we understand some viewers may have been troubled” by some scenes, “the use of insects and animals is consistent with the format of this long-running series, and there was no evidence of mistreatment.”

On the clubfoot comment, she said: “We fully understand some viewers considered it offensive to make light of a congenital medical condition.

“But we took into account that the comment was brief, the conversation moved quickly on, and it did not elicit any reaction or endorsement from other contestants.”

And of alleged bullying, she said: “In our view, the content would have been within the audience’s expectations for this long-running programme, which often shows contestants under a degree of physical and emotional stress, as well as scenes of tension between contestants.”

Ex-EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa was crowned winner of the show in a finale watched by an average of 9.1 million viewers, according to overnight figures, down from last year’s 10.9 million.

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