Let’s start by saying, no, we have no idea why Evander Holyfield is on the British version of the Big Brother reality show. He’s from Alabama. But regardless of how Holyfield got on this show, the four-time world heavyweight boxing champion may find himself off the air soon, thanks to some truly clueless comments on homosexuality, and compounding the issue with an even worse excuse.
Holyfield’s comments were made to fellow cast member Luisa Zissman while the two were… laying in bed? What is this show about? Anyway, Zissman asks Holyfield is there are any gay boxers, and little did she know that she was opening a Pandora’s Box of stupidity. Here’s the transcript:
Evander: What would be good about it? That ain’t normal.
Luisa: We shouldn’t have this conversation. No, let’s not have this conversation, it won’t be good.
Evander: The bible lets you know, that’s wrong, that’s right.
Luisa: That’s just the way some people are.
Evander: No, it don’t make no difference. If you were born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do, you go to the doctor and get it fixed back right.
Luisa: It’s not about being fixed, it’s about… that’s just the way that you are.
Evander: No no no no no, you mean to tell me…
Luisa: I really don’t want to have this conversation.
Evander: I’m not mad, I’m just saying…
Luisa: You don’t understand, I don’t think it’s an appropriate conversation to have in this house, honestly.
Evander: All I’m trying to tell you, you know how handicapped people are born, you can’t say because they were born that way…
Luisa: You can’t compare, of course you can’t compare someone that’s gay to someone that’s handicapped, it’s not a choice.
Evander: Yes it is a choice, come on, that ain’t the way nobody is made.
Watch the exchange below:
Afterwards, the show’s producers actually pulled Holyfield into the confessional room and reprimanded him for using “offensive language” and expressing views that “will be seen as offensive to many people,” which is the first time I can remember seeing a television show call out one of its cast members on the air. Mediaite has that full video here.
Nearly as bad as Holyfield’s comments, which only the most clueless homophobe could agree with, was his excuse: “I was just telling her my opinion… it’s not like I would mention to anybody else.” Evander, you know that you’re on television, right? Just because you’re snuggling in bed doesn’t mean all those cameras and microphones (and you do see all the cameras and microphones, don’t you?) can’t see and hear you.
There’s been a ton of backlash against Holyfield, and frankly he’s not doing a stand-up job of representing American celebrities over there in jolly old England. Funny, I could have sworn boxers were known for their eloquent communication methods and not for beating the shit out of people. I’m sure the producers didn’t see any controversy coming when they signed this guy up.