Former heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield has stirred up controversy after airing his feelings about homosexuality on the British reality TV show, Celebrity Big Brother. The series, which features a variety of local, minor and former celebrities living together in a house while being recorded, began on Jan. 3. During an episode that aired Sunday night, Holyfield told fellow contestant Luisa Zissman that being gay “ain’t normal,” is “a choice” and can be “fixed.” He also went on to compare homosexuality to a handicap.
The conversation began with Zissman questioning Holyfield as to whether there were any openly gay boxers and quickly spiralled down from there. Though Zissman made attempts to thwart the conversation after a few minutes, Holyfield continued to share his views on homosexuality. Later on the show, Holyfield was seen being reprimanded by the Big Brother team for using “unacceptable language.” Though he didn’t apologize for his comments, Holyfield indicated that he’d failed to remember his conversation was being filmed.
Britain’s communication watchdog, Ofcom, confirmed that it received formal complaints from viewers who were upset about the comments.