Celebrity Big Brother fans are not impressed with Ann Widdecombe after she misgendered India Willoughby, calling her “he”.
The former Tory politician has been the most controversial housemate of the series so far: she she kicked off the show by victim-blaming women for the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal, and then angered Rachel Johnson by declaring that mothers shouldn’t work.
She topped that off in a conversation in Thursday’s episode, when transgender news reader India Willoughby joked about being named after her mother’s favourite takeaway: Indian.
“I think he’s pulling your leg,” Widdecombe said.
“He? She!” Willoughby reminded her, and Widdecombe returned: “Oh, I beg your pardon.”
They let the moment pass, but later Willoughby pulled her fellow housemate aside to discuss the incident.
“You misgendered me earlier on today. I know it was a genuine mistake,” she said, to which Widdecombe replied, “I’m sorry about that. If you wouldn’t have been talking about it so much, I wouldn’t have been conscious of you in any other way.”
“You know it hurts transgender people when it happens,” Willoughby pointed out.
Will this be the last of it? Probably not, because Bit on the Side later premiered a clip from Friday’s highlight episode showing Widdcombe misgendering Willoughby multiple times with the wrong pronouns.
Asked if she saw Willoughby as a man, she told fellow housemates: “It’s our generation. I do think of her that way. Therefore I’m watching myself the whole time and then yesterday I slipped up.”
Ashley James told her: “I think you have to be sensitive to understand that she has always felt like a she. I imagine, even if she was very graceful about it, it must sting.”
CBB fans are not impressed by this behaviour.
Though some thought she was handling the issue well…
This Friday’s episode will see male celebrities enter the Big Brother house for the first time. John Barnes was the first man to be confirmed in the Celebrity Big Brother line-up earlier this week.