Amid a raging row over alleged racism against Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, UK's Channel 4 has denied that the Indian star suffered racist bullying on its TV show 'Celebrity Big Brother', but said it will not tolerate any such controversial incidents during the rest of the series.
The broadcaster has given guarantees to the show's sponsor Carphone Warehouse that any such behaviour during the rest of the series could result in removal of the offending housemate.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said in the House of Commons yesterday that he was "opposed to racism in all its forms" while Chancellor Gordon Brown, currently on a visit to India, said he had heard about the volume of complaints regarding Celebrity Big Brother.
Channel 4 pledged to "take necessary steps" to avoid escalating the situation further, after it and media regulator Ofcom received at least 21,000 complaints over the past 48 hours about alleged racism in the Celebrity Big Brother house, media reports said on Thursday.
Sponsors are not allowed to influence the editorial direction of TV programmes. However, according to a Guardian report, the Carphone Warehouse founder and chief executive, Charles Dunstone, has spoken directly to the Channel 4 chief executive, Andy Duncan, about the seriousness of the situation.
In a statement, Channel 4 said there had been a "cultural and class clash" between three other housemates and the Indian star."