Celebrity Big Brother wouldn’t be Celebrity Big Brother without some kind of early homophobia row, and 2017 has proved no exception after Stacy Francis was slammed by viewers last night for comments made about fellow housemate Austin Armacost.
During a conversation about sleeping arrangements broadcast during last night’s episode of the Channel 5 reality show, the former X Factor USA contestant referred to Armacost as “the gay boy”, before questioning why fellow housemate Ray J wanted to share a bed with him.
After housemate James Jordan told Francis that Ray J didn’t want to share a bed with Brandon Block, but was happy to share with Armacost, the 47-year-old replied: “So [Ray J] didn’t want to sleep with Brandon? But he will sleep with a gay boy? The boy that wants to… the gay boy.
“Isn’t Austin gay? So [Ray J] okay with that?”
After other members of the group replied that they wouldn’t have a problem sharing a bed with a gay man, Francis told them she was “being sarcastic.”
“Everyone is so serious, oh my god.”, she added.
Whatever way the comments were intended, viewers were quick to voice their disgust at Francis both defining Armacost by his sexuality and that she should consider a gay man sharing a bed with a straight man cause for concern.
“Does Stacy really need to learn how to treat people with respect? Refer to someone by their name, and not as ‘gay boy’, one viewer wrote on Twitter.
Another added: “Just because he is gay does not mean that he will instantly want to f**k any man he sleep in the same bed with”.
— Jack Creepers (@WhosDatPanda) January 4, 2017
— Cartlin (@CartlinKelly) January 4, 2017
JUST BECAUSE HE IS GAY DOES NOT MEAN THAT HE WILL INSTANTLY WANT TO FUCK ANY MAN HE SLEEPS IN THE SAME BED WITH FFS #CBB
— lynnbutterfield (@hiyaitslynn) January 4, 2017
Ooooh Stacy. You never make gay jokes on British TV, it doesn’t sit well, whichever way it was intended. #CBB
— Princess (@ElmaGyan) January 4, 2017
— John (@latchaw) January 4, 2017
On Thursday morning, a tweet was sent from Francis’s official Twitter account, insisting that the singer was not homophobic, and had many gay friends outside of the house.
Quoting an earlier tweet from 2016 in which Francis had celebrated New York Gay Pride, the message read: “Stacy is not homophobic, her babysitter is gay, many of her closest friends are also gay”.
Stacy is not homophobic, her babysitter is gay, many of her closest friends are also gay. https://t.co/zLdz1zfAK6
— Stacy Francis (@stacyfrancis) January 5, 2017
Last year, Channel 5 was cleared of wrongdoing by Ofcom after airing bi-phobic comments made by Christopher Biggins during the summer 2016 series of Celebrity Big Brother.
The British actor was criticised after suggesting that bisexual people were being dishonest about their orientation, and describing Aids as a “bisexual disease”. The comments led to the star’s removal from the programme following prior warnings for offensive language.
Celebrity Big Brother continues in the UK tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.