Celebrity Big Brother contestant Ann Widdecombe has been branded a ‘homophobe’ by viewers.
The former Conservative MP has a notoriously poor record on LGBTQ rights, and this week she caused further controversy after branding a potential romance between two male contestants “disgusting”.
On Monday night’s episode of CBB, Andrew Brady and Shane Jenek – known to most as Australian drag queen Courtney Act – continued to ham up their bromance by play-fighting together in the living room.
Related: Courtney Act waxes Andrew Brady’s bum on Celebrity Big Brother
When they returned to the kitchen with the rest of the housemates, Shane made reference to Ann voting against same-sex marriage by joking: “You might not support our marriage Ann, but you have to recognise our love.”
“Don’t be disgusting,” Ann snapped back.
Before Shane had a chance to question her comment, the conversation changed to another topic – but fans are now calling for Ann to explain herself, or worse, be evicted from the house altogether.
“Ann really needs to be called out for her homophobia,” wrote one viewer. “If I was Shane I would have gone ape at her. As for the others defending her due to her age I’m disgusted.”
Ann really needs to be called out for her homophobia if I was Shane I would have gone ape at her. As for the others defending her due to her age I’m disgusted #CBB
— Jackie (@justjackie0102) January 22, 2018
“As a gay man who remembers the horror of homophobia in the UK in the 80s/90s when Ann Widdecombe was an MP, I’m amazed you’ve allowed her comments now we are in 2018. Hope to see her reprimanded,” wrote another.
@Rylan @EmmaWillis @channel5_tv As a gay man who remembers the horror of homophobia in the UK in the 80s/90s when Ann Widdecombe was an MP, am amazed you’ve allowed her comments now we are 2018. Hope to see her reprimanded. Ann & her views are disgusting, love never is.
— Kristian (@vegannortherner) January 23, 2018
Other viewers expressed similar concerns.
— James Moran (@jamesmoran) January 22, 2018
Ann Widdecombe is now the favorite to win #CBB. ????????♀️ She’s bossy and judgemental, a misogynist and a homophobe. Please be better than this, Britain.
— Lisa Bee (@leebee4life) January 23, 2018
— Roger Smith (@RogerSmith0909) January 22, 2018
Sexuality and gender have been hot topics on this season of Celebrity Big Brother, with trans newsreader India Willoughby being repeatedly mis-gendered and causing rifts by sharing her ‘phobia’ of drag queens.
Former British footballer John Barnes also faced accusations of homophobia earlier this week when he essentially claimed that he’d no longer be friends with Andrew if he took his relationship with Shane any further.
“Sometimes somebody can have a little taste of something that–” Shane started, speaking about experimenting, but John cut in saying: “Kick them out of the club. Kick them out of the club.
“I’ll tell you why, because 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.”
Shane later confronted John to clarify his remarks, but the footballer made further problematic comments, suggesting straight men are uncomfortable around gay men because they feel like they are being sexualised.
“I know it shouldn’t be that way… men are comfortable just being in a room with a woman, not in a sexual way, because they don’t think, ‘She wants to have sex with me’,” John said.
“But with gays they are uncomfortable with a gay man because they assume that with a gay man, he’s definitely going to want to have sex with me, rather than thinking, just like with a woman, ‘why would he want to have sex with me?’”
Related: Courtney Act goes viral after perfectly explaining spectrums of gender and sexuality