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Channel 4 officials to meet about British 'Celebrity Big Brother'

UPI News Service, 01/22/2007 

Officials of the British channel that airs "Celebrity Big Brother" will meet to discuss the show in light of complaints of racism on the "reality" program.

The board's eight non-executive members will be briefed on racist comments made to or about Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty by other housemates during the show, the BBC said. Two housemates -- one of whom was the latest evicted -- apologized to Shetty.

The broadcaster has faced criticism for not stepping in to curb nasty confrontations between housemates and is facing calls to cancel the show. Channel 4 last week said the program would not be pulled and that any conflict in the house had been monitored.

The program's sponsor withdrew its support in wake of the controversy.

Board chair Luke Johnson has been asked by Commission for Equality and Human Rights to apologize for how the situation was handled. The government's Office of Communications said it has received more than 40,000 viewer complaints.

Now that one of her main antagonists is gone, British bookmakers installed Shetty as the favorite to win.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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