Five years after actress Shilpa Shetty was subject to racist behaviour on Celebrity Big Brother, Miss India UK Deana Uppal has faced similar ‘insults’ from a fellow contestant, prompting regulator Ofcom to launch an investigation on receiving over 1,000 complaints.
Hailing from Birmingham, Uppal is the current Miss India UK and has done modelling assignments in the UK and India.
In 2007, following an uproar over racist comments by contestant Jade Goody against Shilpa, Ofcom had ruled that Channel 4 had breached its code of conduct. The issue snowballed into a major row, with the Indian and UK government intervening.
The show is now being broadcast on Channel 5.
On June 5, fellow contestant Conor McIntyre was reportedly seen screaming at Uppal and was later warned for the aggression towards her. On June 25, he was seen shouting at a weeping Uppal, brandishing her epilator, and abusing her.
McIntyre’s remarks prompted demands from women charity organisations for his removal from the Big Brother house, saying that Uppal should not have to live with such an intimidating presence.
Many took to Twitter to blast Conor’s alleged bullying and over 1,000 people lodged complaints with the regulator, prompting Ofcom to launch an investigation into whether the airing of the arguments may have breached the broadcasting code.
“Channel 5 is committed to complying with Ofcom’s broadcasting code and will help to facilitate a speedy investigation into this particular episode of Big Brother and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side,” said a Channel 5 spokesman.