Big Brother is “looking into” an alleged transphobic ‘joke’ that has led to fans demanding Paul Blackburn be evicted from the house.
The 23-year-old security guard was allegedly seen on the livestream over the weekend making a transphobic remark over former housemate Hallie Clarke, a transgender woman.
Over the weekend, to celebrate Spooky Season, the house had been decorated in sinister decorations including skeletons. One of the skeletons, seen in the garden, had been given breasts made of oranges, as well as an appendage to mimic what looked like a penis.
On Twitter/X on 30 October, users were quick to call out Paul, who allegedly referred to the skeleton as Hallie. The perceived transphobic slur came after she had revealed that she was planning to have gender affirming surgery.
A spokesperson for the show has told Digital Spy that: “We are currently looking at footage following speculation on social media and while this process continues, at this time we have not yet found any references to the skeleton being compared to former housemate Hallie nor any transphobic comments.”
Hallie was the third contestant to be evicted from the Big Brother house on October 27. The 18-year-old came out early in the season (9 October). Hallie admitted that she wasn’t “being 100% authentic” with her housemates, before confiding in them about her gender identity.
“I thought I’d let everyone know I’m trans, if you didn’t know already,” she said. “I just thought I’d make that loud and clear. I’m a trans woman if you didn’t know.”
Hallie was met with overwhelming support from the house, with Chanelle responding: “Good for you. That’s very brave of you.” Dylan said: “This is a moment. I like it.”
After Hallie expressed her anxiety over coming out as trans, Farida told her that she doesn’t “need to be nervous” while Trish said: “We’ve got you.”
The current investigation would not be the first time that Big Brother has had to intervene this season. Producers had to reprimand contestant Kerry for using a homophobic slur during a live broadcast.
Jenkin and Olivia stole Kerry’s mattress as part of a prank. However, upon continuing to tease Kerry she erupted into an expletive-laden outburst after she failed to see the funny side. Kerry responded to the situation and announced “well this is gay”.
A spokesperson for Big Brother said: “Kerry was brought to the diary room to discuss her inappropriate use of language. Big Brother reminded Kerry of her respect and inclusion training prior to entering the house and the consequences of any further use of offensive language. Kerry understood and apologised for any offence caused.”
Big Brother airs Sundays to Fridays at 9pm on ITV2 and ITVX. Each episode is followed by Big Brother Late & Live at 10pm on ITV2 and ITVX.