ENTERTAINMENT
24/01/2018 11:13 GMT

'Celebrity Big Brother': John Barnes Addresses Homophobia Accusations

He claims his comments have been misunderstood by viewers.

Following his backdoor eviction from the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ house earlier this week, John Barnes took the opportunity to address the homophobia scandal he faced during his time on the show.

Over the weekend, John was slammed by viewers over comments he made suggesting he felt discomfort around some gay men, expressing concern they could want to “pounce on” him.

In Tuesday’s (23 January) show, John devoted almost all of his interview to the controversy, setting the record straight while speaking to presenter Emma Willis.

Channel 5
Emma Willis and John Barnes

Admitting he felt “disappointed” at the suggestion he was homophobic, the former footballer said that a “lie” had been told about him “shaming” Andrew Brady for his close friendship with Shane Jansen (aka Courtney Act).

Explaining the “out of the club” line, he explained: “Throughout the programme, we have all been teasing Andrew and Shane about their relationship… I’ve been talking to Shane a lot about homosexuality and why maybe straight men feel a particular way, so there’s no way I shamed Andrew.

“I saw, when I got out, an incident where I said, ‘Andrew is now out of the club’. Now, what happened with that… there had been a lot of teasing going on for the whole day, and Shane said to me, ‘me and Andrew are going to experiment’.

“Me and Andrew have this joke… we’re going to be going out in Chester, pulling women, it’s going to be great. I’m a married man at 54, I’m not going to be going out in Chester, pulling women with Andrew, I’m not part of any club.

“So when he made that statement, I said, ‘right, Andrew’s out of the club. We’re not going out in Chester anymore’, not that we ever were. There is no club. That’s how it started.”

Channel 5
John and Shane talk it out

John then said that he and Shane went on to have a serious conversation about why some straight men still “feel threatened” around gay and bisexual men.

He said: “I watched it back… and what I was actually saying was that society has made certain preconceptions and things whereby straight men feel a certain way.

“When I say ‘we feel a certain way’, I’m talking about [straight] men feeling a certain way. Not me… talking society [feels a certain way] because of what we’ve wrongly been told about gays for a period of time.

“But this is when the miscommunication happened. When he then spoke to Malika, and said to Malika, ‘I’ve had a good conversation with John’, Malika mistook what we was saying… to mean that John feels uncomfortable, not society feels uncomfortable.

“I was saying that was wrong. When a man is a room with a woman, a man, we, don’t feel a woman is going to come onto us, so why do we feel that a gay man is gonna come onto us? And so I’m saying it’s completely wrong.”

Channel 5
John claims his comments were misunderstood

John concluded that he had chosen to take part in the series because of the “diversity” represented in the house, claiming he and many of the housemates shared a “common theme” as they had been discriminated against in some way or another, whether due to racism, transphobia, sexism or homophobia.

Following the controversy that ensued among ‘CBB’ viewers, John’s family issued a statement claiming that there had been a misinterpretation of what he meant with his comments.

‘CBB’ airs nightly on Channel 5.

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