Celebrity Big Brother 2014: Boy George Socks Evander Holyfield On Twitter Over Homophobic Comments

 @christopherzarac.zara@ibtimes.com
on January 06 2014 12:15 PM

EvanderBoy Evander Holyfield was criticized by Boy George after making offensive anti-gay remarks on "Celebrity Big Brother."  Reuters

With the Phil Robertson debacle fading quickly from our collective memories, it was only a matter of time before another outspoken reality star sparked a backlash with a homophobic rant.

Evander Holyfield, the former heavyweight boxing champion, is taking a beating on Twitter Monday after saying homosexuality is “not normal.” The 51-year-old slugger made the remarks on the U.K. reality series “Celebrity Big Brother 13,” which premiered Friday on Britain’s Channel 5. Holyfield was having a conversation with Luisa Zissman, a fellow houseguest and former “Apprentice” contestant, who told the boxer that she believes gay people should be open with their sexuality.

“But that ain’t normal,” Holyfield countered.

When pressed to clarify the remark, Holyfield appeared to take a page straight out of Phil Robertson’s playbook: “The Bible lets you know there’s wrong, there’s right,” he said.

He went on to imply that homosexuality was a malady that could be cured with the proper treatment: “If you’re born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do? You go to a doctor and get it fixed back, right?”

Holyfield was later reprimanded by the show’s producers, after he was called into the “Diary Room,” the soundproofed area where houseguests speak privately to the cameras and crew. There, one of the show’s producers warned him that such anti-gay views are “extremely offensive to many people” and not the view “held by a large section of society.” Holyfield responded by saying he understands and that he had forgotten about the cameras when he made the remark.

The controversy didn’t end there, of course. Hundreds of people predictably took to Twitter Monday to express their outrage, with many saying the boxing legend should be ashamed of himself.

 

Others took the opportunity to joke about the belief that homosexuality can be “fixed.”

 

Among Holyfield’s critics was none other than Boy George, who at first appeared more disappointed than angry, but later had harsh words for the boxer.

 

 

Many others posted tweets defending Holyfield, pointing out that, like Phil Robertson, the boxer was only expressing what is taught in the Bible.

 

At the same time, support for Holyfield doesn’t appear to be reaching the same volume as support for Robertson, which resulted in fervent online petitions and Facebook protests at rallying-cry levels.

Holyfield’s comments, meanwhile, may have real-world consequences that extend beyond social media. The Guardian on Monday reported that Channel 5 could face an investigation by Ofcom, the British government’s regulatory body for the broadcast industry. The organization, the Guardian writes, said it had fielded numerous complaints regarding the episode. It said it was assessing the situation but no decision was made as of yet.   

Watch the full Holyfield clip here via the Mirror.

Got a news tip? Email me. Follow me on Twitter @christopherzara

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