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'Big Brother' contestant out after racist slur

world Updated: Jun 07, 2007 17:20 IST
AP
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A British reality television contestant was kicked off the show's set after allegedly using a racist slur. Emily Parr, a 19-year-old student, was expelled from 'Big Brother' after using a derogatory term about a black contestant, broadcaster Channel 4 said on Thursday.

The expulsion took place two weeks after Channel 4 was forced to apologize for the racist abuse endured by Bollywood starlet Shilpa Shetty on 'Celebrity Big Brother,' a previous version of the show. That incident in January sparked a firestorm of international protest, while Britain's broadcast regulator received a record 44,500 complaints.

Channel 4 said that Parr regretted the outburst, and that she had spoken carelessly, rather than maliciously. But it explained that, in light of the reaction drawn by the previous show, it had no choice but to expel her.

"In the wake of 'Celebrity Big Brother' we must consider the potential offense to viewers regardless of Emily's intentions and her housemates' response," Channel 4 said in a statement.

The program created by Endemol NV in the Netherlands in 1999 and produced in dozens of other countries features a group of contestants who are confined in a house for several weeks under constant camera surveillance.

Viewers evict the contestants one-by-one until someone is chosen as the winner of a cash prize.

The tense, claustrophobic atmosphere of the show has proven endlessly fascinating to audiences across the globe, while contestants' unscripted outbursts have regularly drawn controversy and scorn.

Parr was removed from the show soon after making the comment Wednesday night, Channel 4 said. The slur was not broadcast live.

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