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Government agency clears Britian's 'Big Brother' show of wrongdoing

UPI News Service, 09/19/2006 

A government agency has cleared the British version of TV's "Big Brother" of any wrongdoing after its recent season drew numerous complaints.

The Scotsman reported that hundreds of viewer of the popular Channel 4 show contacted Ofcom, the government's Office of Communications, about the series' alleged acceptance of bullying and emotional exploitation amongst its contestants.

In addition, viewers took issue with the fact that the winner of the series' seventh season, Pete Bennett, suffered from Tourette's Syndrome and the show appeared to take humor from his plight, the newspaper said.

Yet after investigating the 270 complaints, Ofcom has judged that series execs had done nothing wrong during their seven seasons on the air, the report said.

"It is to some extent expected that high emotion, disagreement and separation into partisan groups may result," Ofcom told the Scotsman.

The regulatory office also defended Bennett's place in the show, saying: "There is rightly no reason why someone with a disability cannot and should not exercise the same degree of informed choice as any other adult -- including choosing to enter the Big Brother house."

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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