I'm A Celebrity: Ofcom Rejects 'Bullying' And Animal Welfare Complaints

Ian Wright's treatment of Andrew Maxwell was just one of the things viewers of the ITV complained about this year.

I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! will not face an investigation from TV watchdog Ofcom over complaints about bullying and animal welfare.

The most recent series of the ITV reality show saw former England footballer Ian Wright’s behaviour towards campmate Andrew Maxwell spark 83 complaints about alleged bullying.

The issue of animal welfare across the show’s run also led to 102 complaints, while former rugby player James Haskell’s comment describing Ian as having a “clubfoot” – a congenital condition that causes the foot to turn inward or downward – provoked 119 complaints.

However, after assessing all of viewers’ concerns, Ofcom has announced it will not be investigating any of the matters further, deciding the show did not breach its broadcasting code.

Ian Wright was accused of bullying Andrew Maxwell on I'm A Celebrity
Ian Wright was accused of bullying Andrew Maxwell on I'm A Celebrity
Rex

On the subject of alleged bullying, a spokesperson said: “In our view, the content would have been within the audience’s expectations for this long-running programme, which often shows contestants under a degree of physical and emotional stress, as well as scenes of tension between contestants.”

They also said that while they “understand some viewers may have been troubled” by some scenes involving various animals and insects, the use of them “is consistent with the format of this long-running series, and there was no evidence of mistreatment”.

On the clubfoot comment, they added: “We fully understand some viewers considered it offensive to make light of a congenital medical condition.

“But we took into account that the comment was brief, the conversation moved quickly on, and it did not elicit any reaction or endorsement from other contestants.”

James Haskell made a remark about "clubfoot" that also sparked complaints
James Haskell made a remark about "clubfoot" that also sparked complaints
ITV/Shutterstock

The subject of animal welfare is something Springwatch presenter Chris Packham has frequently criticised the show about.

He was even booed at the TV Choice Awards in September when he accused bosses of “abusing” animals in Bushtucker Trials.

The use of live animals on I'm A Celebrity has been criticised
The use of live animals on I'm A Celebrity has been criticised
James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock

He later suggested that presenters Ant and Dec were complicit in I’m A Celebrity’s treatment of animals, claiming the pair have repeatedly snubbed his offers to talk about the issue in detail.

Speaking to the Daily Star, he added: “The whole thing utterly appals me and goes against everything I seek to achieve as a broadcaster. We are looking at a programme I feel is out of date.

“We’ve done away with circuses and dolphinariums. The way we think about animals is changing very rapidly and it’s time I’m A Celebrity caught up.”

'I'm A Celebrity' Winners