Channel 4 Apologises After Countdown Airs Offensive Gay Slur During Letters Game

Oh dear.

Channel 4 has issued an apology after audiences complained about a gay slur that was broadcast as part of a contestant’s answer in the Letters round.

The contestant gave the word “p*ofter” as his seven-letter answer and it was featured in the programme completely uncensored:

Despite it being a valid answer and the contestant registering 7 points, some viewers complained about the decision not to remove the scene, with even Pointless host Richard Osman saying he was shocked the word wasn’t removed from Monday’s show.

The contestant was embarrassed to be saying it, but in that situation the easy solution is to all agree he scored seven points and to retake with a different answer.

We’ve done that a couple of times with “correct” answers. A very easy fix, and not an uncommon one.

Another viewer wrote:

Sorry to go serious on something quite trivial – but as someone who was called a “p***fter” by homophobes on a daily basis why on earth is Countdown allowing it to be said cheerfully as an answer on daytime television?

Channel 4 have conceded that airing the answer was an ‘error of judgement’ and the contestant who said it, Matt Gould, has also apologised:

I thought it might be edited differently. I have an inappropriate seven that I know is in the dictionary or a riskier seven that I’m less sure about.

I thought that bit would be reshot with a non-offensive seven letter word.

It’s a tricky one really. After all, as Matt says he knew the word was in the dictionary and so it’s a legal, valid move worth 7 points…

But just because an offensive slur is in the dictionary, does that mean it should be broadcast on daytime TV, even when used in the context of a game show? After all, the N-word is also in the dictionary, and I doubt anyone would be crazy enough to put that forward as an answer if they spotted it in the Letters round. And if they had, you can bet Channel 4 wouldn’t risk broadcasting it.

I guess when it comes to an old school gay slur like “p*ofter”, it was enough of a grey area that Channel 4 would risk some backlash while also getting some free publicity over it. That’s just how the game goes. Oh well, they won’t be doing it again, that’s for sure.

For the time Rachel Riley was accused of racism after mocking an Arsenal fan from India, click HERE.


To Top