The Care Provider Alliance has blasted Channel 4 for the alleged negative portrayal of care homes and older people on Celebrity Big Brother this week.
The coalition of provider bodies slammed a game in which housemates were divided into residents and carers of the “Last Legs Retirement Home” and housemates were tasked with completing tasks such as “The Klapped-Out Factor” and watching Countdown.
In a letter to Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan, alliance chair Des Kelly said: “It seems however that older people (and the care and support they receive when they are at their most vulnerable) are seen as a legitimate target for tasteless television entertainment. It is unacceptable at the beginning of the 21st century to discriminate in this way and it is not helpful to misrepresent the care given to older people.”
Housemates were divided into residents and carers where carers had to accompany residents to the diary room and tuck them in at night. Residents were also only allowed to consume liquidised food.
In 2007 Celebrity Big Brother hit the headlines because of alleged racist comments by housemates. In his letter to Duncan, Kelly said: “Given the experience on a previous Celebrity Big Brother of discriminatory attitudes and behaviour we would have hoped that lessons had been learned.”
I response to the letter a Channel 4 spokesperson said: “This was a light hearted task which was in no way meant to cause offence or offer any political comment on the issues around old age.”
Kelly has also complained to broadcasting regulator Ofcom.