“A contestant’s tattoo includes symbols that may be related to far-right ideologies and can be offensive.”
A&E Networks has announced that they will be canceling the Sky History program The Chop: Britain’s leading woodworker After an investigation of one of the contestants’ facial tattoos, it was said to have Nazi significance.
In its notice, the network said: “A contestant’s tattoo includes symbols that may be related to far-right ideologies and can be offensive; We sincerely apologize for that and we regret that our procedures did not prompt further investigation at the previous stage ”.
Contestant Darren Lumsden from Bristol, UK, was presented to the world in a 49-second clip on social media where some viewers instantly flagged his body art and decoded the meaning. of them.
His tattoo includes the number 88 on his right cheek. With the letter “H” being the eighth letter in the alphabet, “88” is considered to be the numerical symbol of “heil Hitler”, according to the Federation of Anti-Defamation.
Lumsden also has tattoos of 23 and 16 on his temples. Two numbers often appear together to denote “white power”.
Some viewers also expressed concern with the tattoo on his upper lip, which says “home-grown”, a sentiment that can be understood as national.
The Sky History channel initially defended Lumsden online and claimed that he was well-tested and that his tattoos were sentimental. For example, “88” is believed to represent the year of his father’s death.
In an interview, a man claiming to be his father gave a Daily Mail interview confirming that he was still very much alive, despite being estranged by his son.
In a statement announcing that the show will not make a return, the network said Lumsden “continues to categorically deny that he has or has had far-right tendencies,” despite a lot of evidence.
In the future, A&E Networks said it plans to review its internal processes and maintain that it is against all forms of racism and hate speech.
The series of competitions was initially halted after online viewers’ outcry while awaiting investigation.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for Big Wheel Film & Television, the production company behind the show, said they acted “professionally, appropriately and in good faith” and believed they were not. do something wrong.
Concerning Lumsden’s selection as a contestant in the series, the spokesperson said: “All identified issues, problems and concerns related to Darren Lumsden’s tattoo during production have been Full reporting to AETN UK and the broadcaster’s directives and instructions for a very close response. “
The company said it was fully cooperating with the independent investigation and provided “details on the processes, related discussions and exchanges, along with supporting evidence and documents.”
The production company insists that it is against all forms of “hatred and intolerance” and will defend its reputation “firmly”.