Gogglebox fans ‘complain to Ofcom’ after ‘derogatory’ coronavirus comments

Gogglebox viewers have lodged complaints to Ofcom after being upset by comments made over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Channel 4 show returned to screens on Friday, 11 September, after a brief break.

And, while watching an instalment of BBC News, the Michael family – made up of Louis and sister Alex, as well as parents Andrew and Carolyne – discussed the latest updates.

Speaking about the global health scare, Louis said: ‘It seems crazy that they were putting out all of these schemes like Eat Out To Help Out and trying basically to get everyone back to normal, and now they’re blaming young people.’

To which Alex replied: ‘It just seems backwards to me because if there’s small group of people who are at risk of dying, then it should be them self-isolating – not the large group of young people.

‘And also it should be their choice because if they’re aware of the risks and the statistics then it should be their choice whether they isolate or not. 

‘But to make everyone else put their lives on hold, it’s ridiculous.’

However, the Sun states that fans watching on from home were unimpressed with their discussion, and flocked to complain to the TV watchdog.

According to the publication, Ofcom stated viewers were unhappy with the ‘derogatory’ comments, and suggested the references to those who were affected by coronavirus – including elderly and vulnerable people – were ‘insensitive’.

And a spokesperson has confirmed to Metro.co.uk that 16 complaints were made about the episode – with nine relating to the Michael family’s comments.

Channel 4 viewers also took aim at the scenes on social media, with one tweeting: ‘Seriously not impressed with the views of the Michael family on #Gogglebox – typically so selfish of that generation. 

‘#COVID19 possibly even #COVIDIOTS.’

‘The Michael family. So bloody selfish and ignorant,’ another penned. ‘I’ll just give up working and hide in a box. Happy now? #GOGGLEBOX.’

Agreeing, a Twitter user added: ‘Yes, might as well kill off the people that are inconveniencing their lives huh? Ignorant just doesn’t cover it.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted Channel 4 and Ofcom for a comment.

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