Many on social media were outraged yesterday (August 16) after Channel 4 aired an episode of Countdown that included a homophobic slur.
Channel 4 has since apologised and admitted that the airing of the word was an ‘error of judgement’.
The popular quiz show, which is hosted by Anne Robinson, sees contestants attempt to solve word problems using random letters.
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The controversy stemmed from a segment in which a participant attempted to make a word out of the letters A O O E D R P F T.
Clearly uncomfortable, Matt said: “I’ve got a rude word that I know is in the dictionary: P****er.”
Host Anne Robinson then swiftly on to the next contestant’s answer.
BBC Critic Scott Bryan was particularly critical and tweeted: “Sorry to go serious on something quite trivial – but as someone who was called a “p***fter” by homophobes on a daily basis why on earth is Countdown allowing it to be said cheerfully as an answer on daytime television?
“Yes, I know it is in the dictionary. But having been at the receiving end of that word as abuse for years (along with f****ot), then hearing it casually as an answer on a quizshow…
“The amount of people saying ‘it is only a word’, I’m pretty sure it was only a word back in the classrooms back then too. Yet it feels the same.”
Other people soon joined in the comments expressing their dismay over the clip.
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Another questioned why the controversial word had not been bleeped out.
They said: “Has there been scenarios where contestants have come up with other offensive words which generally wouldn’t be shown on daytime TV?
“I’m not sure what happens. You’d think it’d be bleeped and, if it has been, it’s a shame they didn’t do the same on this occasion.”
Fellow chat show host Richard Osman then waded in and said there were other avenues the show could have taken.
He said: “Yes, I think, the contestant was embarrassed to be saying it, but in that situation the easy solution is to all agree he scored 7 points and to retake with a different answer.
“We’ve done that a couple of times with ‘correct’ answers.”
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A spokesman for Channel 4 confirmed to MyLondon that the broadcast was an error of judgement.
A spokesman said: “The airing of the word was an error of judgement. It does not align with our values and we apologise for any offence caused.”
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