“A contestant’s tattoos included symbols that may very well be linked to far-right ideologies and will trigger offence.”
A&E Networks has introduced that will probably be cancelling the Sky Historical past present The Chop: Britain’s Prime Woodworker after an investigation into one in all its contestant’s face tattoos, that are believed to have Neo-Nazi meanings.
In its announcement, the community mentioned: “A contestant’s tattoos included symbols that may very well be linked to far-right ideologies and will trigger offence; we sincerely apologise for that and we’re sorry that our processes didn’t immediate additional investigation at an earlier stage.”
The contestant, Darren Lumsden from Bristol, England, was launched to the world in a 49-second clip on social media the place a number of viewers immediately flagged his physique artwork and deconstructed their that means.
His tattoos embrace the quantity 88 on his proper cheek. With the letter “H” being the eighth within the alphabet, “88” is considered the numerical image for “heil Hitler,” in response to the Anti-Defamation League.
Lumsden additionally has tattoos of the numbers 23 and 16 on his temples. The 2 numbers typically seem collectively to indicate “white energy.”
Some viewers additionally took subject with the tattoo on his higher lip, which reads “homegrown,” a sentiment that may very well be interpreted as nationalistic.
The Sky Historical past channel initially defended Lumsden on-line and argued that he had been correctly vetted by manufacturing, and that his tattoos held sentimental meanings. The “88” was mentioned to signify the yr of his father’s dying, for example.
In a flip of occasions, a person claiming to be his father gave an interview to the Daily Mail confirming that he was very a lot alive, though estranged from his son.
In its assertion asserting that the present wouldn’t be returning, the community mentioned Lumsden “continues to strenuously deny that he had, or ever had, far-right leanings,” regardless of overwhelming proof.
Shifting ahead, A&E Networks mentioned that it deliberate to assessment its inside course of and maintained that it stood towards all types of racism and hate speech.
The competitors sequence was initially paused following outcry from viewers on-line pending investigation.
In an announcement to BuzzFeed Information, a spokesperson for Massive Wheel Movie & Tv, the manufacturing firm behind the present, mentioned it had acted “professionally, appropriately and in good religion,” and believed that it had achieved nothing fallacious.
With reference to Lumsden’s casting as a contestant on the sequence, the spokesperson mentioned: “All points, issues and issues recognized in relation to Darren Lumsden’s tattoos throughout manufacturing have been absolutely reported as much as AETN UK, and the broadcaster’s directives and directions in response have been intently adopted.”
The corporate mentioned that it had absolutely cooperated with the unbiased investigation and equipped “particulars of related processes, discussions and exchanges, together with supporting proof and documentation.”
The manufacturing firm maintained that it stood towards all types of “hatred and intolerance,” and could be defending its fame “robustly.”