In what probably isn’t the pinnacle of success, former heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield is currently a houseguest on UK Celebrity Big Brother and recent comments could have him in hot water.
During a conversation with houseguest Luisa Zissman, in which she asks if there were any gay boxers, Holyfield stuttered as if he was in shock that she would ask such a question. Zissman then went on to say that being open about sexuality was good “because it was normal”.
But Holyfield didn’t share the same sentiments. “That ain’t normal.” The 51-year-old then added, “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? All I’m trying to tell you, you know how handicap people are born.”
Needless to say, those comments didn’t sit well with a lot of folks. Including Boy George.
“Who was homophobic on CBB?” the Culture Club singer tweeted. “Shame, I had such admiration for Mr. Evander Holyfield. He seemed dignified and I was sure he was a cool, smart, giant!”
According to The Guardian the network could be investigated by British broadcasting watchdog Ofcom. The organization told the newspaper that it received several complaints and is still considering whether to open a formal investigation.
During the show Holyfield was reprimanded by the producers and was told, “While Big Brother understands these are the views you hold, they aren’t the views that are held by a large section of society, and expressing these views will be extremely offensive to many people.”
The producers added, “Big Brother does not tolerate the use of offensive language and must therefore warn you to consider very carefully the effect expressing such views may have and the harm and offense you may cause by repeating these views inside the house.”
Boy George had a few last words to give Holyfield. “I think anyone visiting this country for any reason should be cautioned and forced to swear allegiance to ‘Queens & country!!” he tweeted. “At customs there should be a huge sign! Welcome to Britain, racism, sexism, homophobia and bad hair are not tolerated!”
I’m sorry, Boy George must be talking about a different Britain. Last time I checked racism, sexism and homophobia was alive and well over there also.
Holyfield’s son, Ewin Holyfield told TMZ: “My dad is the most loving and caring person you will ever meet. He treats everyone like a human being…even if they are homosexual.
“My dad feels that being gay is a choice…and naturally that’s how things work. You cannot procreate and make a baby with two women, or two men. But at the same time, my dad is not going to judge someone for their sexual orientation.”
Ewin added that Evander’s former brother-in-law is gay, but that his father had a good relationship with him and treated him like family.