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04th Jan 2017

Celebrity Big Brother faced with ‘racism’ accusations on opening night

The treatment of housemate Stacy has been criticised.

Nooruddean Choudry

Edited out.

Celebrity Big Brother started in ernest on Tuesday night with a new ‘All Stars And New Stars’ format for this latest series of the show. 14 housemates entered the house, and it seemed as though the makers were keen to stir controversy from the outset.

Contestants included Bianca Gascoigne, Ray J, footballer Jamie O’Hara, Game Of Thrones actor James Cosmo, Brandon Block and Calum Best. But it was the treatment of X Factor USA singer Stacy Francis that caused the most anger amongst viewers.

In a new twist, the ‘All Star’ housemates were charged with being ‘producers’ on the show, and separated from the ‘New Star’ celebrities. In the first show, they were asked to choose a ‘New Star’ who should be ‘edited out’ of the programme.

The criteria for choosing someone was who would be ‘least entertaining’ to the viewers at home. They decided upon Stacy – despite knowing her for a matter of minutes – because they surmised that she would be the most likely to ‘kick off’ (and hence be entertaining presumably?)

This did not go down with viewers at home, who were bemused by the decision. Many felt Stacy had already been cast as the ‘angry black woman’, and that this act – which saw her sitting outside on her own in the cold wearing a beige tracksuit – would only encourage the narrative.