May 27, 2008
Ofcom clears C4’s BB of unfairness
Big Brother contestant was not 'humiliated'
Ofcom has rejected a complaint from a former Big Brother contestant who claimed that the show had been edited to “humiliate and misrepresent her”.
Dawn Blake, who appeared in the seventh series of the hit Channel Four show in 2006, complained that she had been unfairly treated and had her privacy infringed by the reality programme.
She alleged that the show – which returns for its ninth series on 5 June – had been edited to “humiliate and misrepresent her” after she had told fellow housemates that she would not shower after her suitcase had been withheld by Big Brother when she entered the house.
Ms Blake, from Birmingham, was evicted from house after only one week after she was caught communicating with the outside world. She told housemates that a family message she was allowed to receive had contained a coded warning that she was receiving negative press.
Channel 4 claimed that the issue of body odour had been “fairly represented” and denied other complaints by Blake such as her medical conditions had been exploited or that she had been kept in the house against her will.
Dismissing her complaints of unfair treatment, Ofcom ruled that the story of her eviction and departure from the house was “fairly portrayed”.
Blake had also complained that references to her on Little Brother and Big Mouth, on which she was referred to as “stinky Dawn”, had been unfair. But the media regulator found: “As regards Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Big Brother’s Little Brother, Ofcom found that references to the body odour issue and to Ms Blake’s departure reflected events in the house” and that they were “in the context of a light-hearted discussion in which positive as well as negative comments were included”.