Celebrity Big Brother: John Barnes’ family hit back at homophobia claims
The family of Celebrity Big Brother housemate John Barnes have hit back at claims he is homophobic.
The football manager was nominated by fellow housemates in the wake of comments on Saturday’s show that many viewers branded as homophobia.
The 54-year-old caused controversy after he said that housemate Andrew Brady would be “out of the club” if anything sexual happened between him and Courtney Act star Shane Jenek.
He also allegedly made comments about gay men not being masculine.
Family of the former footballer responded to the backlash with a statement on Twitter.
“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.
“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.”
Many Celebrity Big Brother viewers have heavily criticised John Barnes on Twitter – insisting his comments were homophobic.
When challenged by Shane in the house, John acknowledged that while he knew the comments were wrong he said that he thought they could be realistic.
He said: “That dialogue is symptomatic of reality at the moment.
“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.”
He continued: “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.
Courtney told housemates that John had originally thought that masculine gay men could only be stereotypically butch, with thick moustaches and leather jackets.
She clarified this, saying: “A masculine man is exactly the same as what you think is a masculine man, but who happens to have sex with men.”
“For John, a gay man who doesn’t have limp wrists is a straight man,” she added.
Wayne Sleep, a famous dancer and gay man said: “But that is so black and white? “Where’s the rainbow colours?”
Watch Courtney smash stereotypes with Wayne and Malika below
— Big Brother UK (@bbuk) January 20, 2018