Celebrity Big Brother: John Barnes nominated for eviction after ‘homophobic’ comments
Celebrity Big Brother housemate John Barnes has been nominated for eviction in the wake of ‘homophobic’ comments he made on the show.
The 54-year-old footballer caused controversy during Saturday’s episode of the celebrity reality show.
John Barnes was then nominated for a surprise eviction by the women of the Celebrity Big Brother house.
Former MP Ann Widdecombe initially suggested John for eviction due to his ‘heavy-handed’ tactics in discussions.
Reality show star Ashley James supported his eviction, referencing John’s recent comments about the relationship between Andrew Brady and Courtney Act.
She said: “I don’t like the kind of shaming of Andrew for his relationship with Shane.
“I think [John] finds it hard to accept that Andrew is a straight guy with a friendship with Shane or Courtney.”
Housemate Malika Haqq agreed, stating that John had contributed to a stigma surrounding relationships between men and masculine people.
During Saturday’s episode, Shane -the given name of Courtney Act- addressed some remarks made by John about their relationship with Andrew Brady.
John had previously said that Andrew would be ‘out of the club’ if anything sexual happened between the pair.
“If anything happened in that room he’s out of the club. If anything happens in the room, Andrew’s out of the club. He’s not in my club if anything happens,” he said.
After being challenged by Shane, he then continued: “Everything I’ve been saying here has been a product of my environment. Things we know to be wrong, we can’t help thinking that.
“Whilst I know it’s wrong, I do know that possibly that would be that things are.”
“I know that I should not be that way but I’m 54 years old, I cant just think that naturally,” he said.
Shane and John then discussed the stereotype that many heterosexual men are uncomfortable around gay men.
“They’re thinking he’s going to make a move on me, there’s an uncomfortable feeling that he’s going to pounce on me,” John said.
Shane was the first housemate to be saved from eviction by the women on Sunday.
John was nominated alongside comedian Dapper Laughs, actress Amanda Barrie, and Ann Widdecombe.
Since the airing of the episode, John has been heavily criticised on social media, with many viewers calling his words homophobic.
One viewer wrote: “Oh John – it’s not men uncomfortable with gay men it’s homophobes such as yourself #cbb.”
Publishing a statement on John Barnes’ Twitter account after the show, the friends and family of the former footballer responded to the backlash.
The statement included: “As John’s friends and family we felt strongly that an alternative narrative regarding the discussion between John and Shane J aired on Saturday night should be presented.
“The subsequent media coverage and the social media backlash have been highly distressing as the popular interpretation is completely out of keeping with our experience of John.”
“It seems quite clear to us from the discussion as presented on the show that John is not offering the statements as reflections of his own feelings but as an explanation (but not justification) of the mentality that can cause some straight men to hold homophobic beliefs.
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“Anyone who has seen John speak will know that he is not one for soundbites but prefers nuanced and detailed discussion, which of course can leave one vulnerable in the TV editing process.”
The statement continues: “An alternative explanation, which happens to tie in with our personal experience of John’s previously stated thoughts and feelings and also with his public stance on discrimination, is that he was critiquing the views that many people do hold and analysing the motivations and influences behind them.”
Read the full statement from John’s friends and family below
Hi, there has been a lot of discussion about the conversation between John and Shane J yesterday. Friends and family of John have had a chat about it and written down their opinions, Any thoughts? @radiotimes @huffpostuk @dailymirror @paulsinha @indiawilloughby @dailymailuk #CBB pic.twitter.com/yVxTmbnKvu
— John Barnes (@officialbarnesy) January 21, 2018