Over the past year, “Big Brother” has been one of the most controversial shows on TV thanks to cast mates spewing homophobic, racist and discriminatory comments. And although those comments have historically come from regular Joes and Janes, last night boxing legend Evander Holyfield found himself to be celebrity offender No. 1 when he bashed the gay community on the U.K. version of “Celebrity Big Brother.”
According to the Mirror, during last night’s episode, Holyfield was chatting with fellow housemate Luisa Zissman, who asked him if there were any boxers who were openly gay. After Zissman claimed that she supported the idea of being out and gay because it’s normal, Holyfield countered with “that ain’t normal.”
In Holyfield’s eyes, being gay is no different than being born handicapped and that it’s something a person can change.
“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?” Holyfield said.
“All I’m trying to tell you, you know how handicap people are born?” he continued. “You can’t say because they are born that way you can’t move that …”
Fissman said that the two situations aren’t comparable and she tried to change the subject but Holyfield continued on with his explanation about how homosexuality isn’t normal.
“Yes, it is a choice,” he said. “C’mon, how can you not say you ain’t gay unless you sleeping with the opposite sex?”
Later in the confession room, Holyfield explained that his comments were his personal belief and that he never would’ve shared them in public under normal circumstances.
“It is not like I would mention it to anyone else, it was just our conversation,” he said.
However, a CBB spokesperson explained that Holyfield’s comments were disturbing to the show’s staff and they scolded him for sharing his anti-gay views.
“Following Evander Holyfield’s comments about his personal views of homosexuality last night, ‘Big Brother’ spoke to him in the diary room,” said the rep.
“Evander was told that his views weren’t shared by a large section of society and that expressing those views and the language he used could be seen as extremely offensive to many people,” the rep continued. “He was warned to think carefully about repeating them. Evander understood and accepted this. The producers of ‘Big Brother’ will continue to monitor this and will take further appropriate action should a similar matter arise again.”
Well, we’re glad that the show’s staff said something to Holyfield about his comments, but clearly this show, true to its premise, shows the inner ignorance, discriminatory thoughts and hate that many in our societies still hold about people who are different from them. Hopefully, others will see Holyfield’s views as archaic instead of (uneducated) proof that gay people are intrinsically wrong or beneath them.
Check out some other LGBT offenders below. –nicholas robinson