Former boxing champion Evander Holyfield sparked mass outrage over comments he made this weekend on Celebrity Big Brother UK that being gay was a “choice” and comparing homosexuals to handicapped people. The boxer’s comments became so offensive, he was called into the Diary Room and warned he could be thrown off the show if he continued spewing them.
“That ain’t normal,” Evander said. “If you were born and your leg were turned this way — what would you do? You go to the doctor and get it fixed back right?”
“All I’m trying to say, you know handicap people are born, you can’t say because they are born that way you can’t fix them,” the former heavyweight said. Luisa tried to interject that comparing a disability to being gay is not really the same thing at all. Evander said again that he thinks it is a choice. “C’mon, how can you not say you ain’t gay unless you sleeping with the opposite sex?”
Luisa Zissman obviously didn’t realize what kind of a response her question was going to get, and tried to stop Evander before he went too far. However, it wasn’t long before the boxer was called into the Diary Room for a talking to by the production staff. They warned Evander that what he was saying was a violation of the rules and he had been told not to make such offensive comments before entering the house. He tried to counter that he was just expressing his opinion and wouldn’t say anything to anyone else about it.
Unhappy fans and pissed off members of the LGBT community immediately took to social media to decry the lack of punishment for Evander’s misstep on air. Many called for him to be removed from the Celebrity Big Brother 2014 house immediately. Even British pop star Boy George took to Twitter in disgust, saying it was a “shame, I had such admiration for Mr Evander Holyfield, he seemed dignified and I was sure he was a cool, smart, giant!”
Other viewers, however, stated it was the boxer’s right to say whatever he believes, especially since it was in response to a leading question. Some even complained that Channel 5 shouldn’t have even shown the clip in the first place and blamed the network for airing dirty laundry.
Remind you a bit of Big Brother 15 in the US this past season? Although really, this little incident was just a drop in the bucket compared to THAT mess.
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