12/02/2014 05:37 GMT | Updated 12/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Simon Cowell Replies To Chris O'Dowd's 'X Factor' Racism Comments: 'He's Ignorant'

Simon Cowell has stuck up for his beloved singing contest after actor Chris O'Dowd implied 'X Factor' viewers are racist.

The music mogul branded the 'IT Crowd' star "ignorant", while speaking to journalists at the 'Britain's Got Talent' auditions in London on Tuesday.

Simon Cowell

In an interview with the Radio Times, Chris said: "The viewing public is so racist, all the black, strong singers go out in round five every year".

But Simon told EntertainmentWise: "We are the least racist show you could possibly find in the world."

He added: "So not only is he ignorant, it's actually insulting to hear him say that. And it's insulting to our audience."

Chris's comments came as part of an ongoing debate about online abuse black contestants on the show have received.

Most recently, 2013 finalist Hannah Barrett said she had been "disappointed" by the racist abuse she was on the receiving end of while she was part of 'X Factor'.

She told Reveal magazine: "People say I'm too dark to be a singer and there have been lots of references to how dark my skin is".

Photo gallery X Factor winners See Gallery