I'm A Celeb Hit With Ofcom Complaints After James Haskell's Disability Joke
I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! is in full swing now and the pleasantries of the early days are now starting to make way for hunger-driven digs and irritable complaints.
However, it was actually a light-hearted moment between camp-mates that offended viewers earlier this week.
The moment in question came after Ian Wright started doing 'some jogging' around the campsite. Watching on, former rugby union player James Haskell said: "He's completely lost the plot, look at that clubfoot."
But while the 34-year-old might have thought nothing off his mocking comment, many viewers at home were 'disgusted', with broadcasting regulatory body Ofcom receiving 78 complaints about it since the show first aired on Monday.
Social media was also awash with viewers condemning Haskell.
One person said: "@ITV why do u find it acceptable for @jameshaskell to mock a disability such as clubfoot on #ImACelebrity2019 this is disgusting."
Using the hashtag #clubfootawareness, they continued: "My son has bilateral clubfeet and this is how he runs. Pain he is in daily breaks my heart, and this grown man is mocking it!!"
Another said: "Absolutely disgusted that @jameshaskell is making fun of people with clubfoot. Even more furious @ITV thought it was okay to air the comment! I think @Ofcom will be getting a lot of complaints from clubfoot mamas! #talipesawareness #proudclubfootmama."
A third added: "I'm sorry, but I'm really disgusted by James Haskell's comment about Clubfoot. Why is this acceptable? #ImACeleb @ITV. This is totally unacceptable, and I expect a full apology from both."
Clubfoot - or Congenital Talipes Equino Varusy (CTEV) - can affect one or both feet and is inherited from birth (that's what congenital means). The exact cause is unknown, but if left untreated, it can leave sufferers with difficulty walking.
The condition affects one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK and is twice as common in boys, with approximately 50 percent of cases affecting both feet.
A spokesperson for Steps - a charity working for people whose lives are affected by childhood lower limb conditions - told LADbible: "It is unfortunate to see, despite the great progress that has been made in the UK, that people still reference disabilities in jokes. We are certain that James Haskell's comment was not meant to cause any offence, however he was live on national television and was being watched by many individuals that live with a disability.
"We advise James Haskell to consider his comments carefully, as he is seen by many as a role model. As a result, his actions might be perceived to legitimise these type of comments, and ultimately bullying and discrimination."
Earlier in the series, viewers were siding with Haskell after he took on a bushtucker trial with Roman Kemp which people thought was basically impossible.
The duo had to try and grab stars from boxes filled with crabs, spiders and cockroaches before moving them to other boxes - all in 90 seconds. Following their failure to complete it, hosts Ant and Dec defended it on Twitter, claiming 'stand ins' had completed it when it was tested.
LADbible has contacted ITV for comment regarding Haskell's clubfoot comment.
Featured Image Credit: ITV