ITV rapped for 'Dumb Foreigners' show as 129 complain

LONDON - The ITV programme 'Dumb Foreigners' has been ruled offensive and rapped for promoting dangerous behaviour after 129 complaints, including many accusing it of xenophobia.

The programme, presented nu former 'Pop Idol' judge Neil Fox, ran on Saturday June 26 at 6.30pm, with Ofcom pointing out it was unusual to receive such a high number of complaints about a non-primetime broadcast.

The main issues were that the show, which showed clips of people doing bizarre acts around the world, encouraged racist attitudes and that children could copy the behaviour.

ITV defended the charges of xenophobia by pointing out that it was one of a series of shows in a new 'Dumb' brand, and that it also included 'Dumb Britain?', which had been transmitted without any complaints.

Ofcom said it seemed viewers were not familiar with the 'Dumb' brand, and said it accepted ITV was not trying to belittle foreigners.

However, it said that it could understand why the general tone of the programme offended many viewers and found it in breach of the section of code dealing with general offence.

It also said: "There were scenes showing a person doing a trick while holding his breath underwater in a bath and dangerous attempts to put out a fire, accompanied by laughter. We thought that these were not advisable in the context of a light-hearted programme."

Ofcom said the programme was also in breach of the rules about children and imitative behaviour.

  • The BBC is vetting the clothing worn by children's TV presenters Dick and Dom, of 'Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow' fame, after Dom wore a T-shirt reading "Morning Wood". Ofcom welcomed the BBC's decision after receiving a complaint about the T-shirt.

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