GREAT British Bake Off viewers have complained to Ofcom after jokes over ‘insensitive’ jokes about small hands and Paul Hollywood saying rainbow bagels ‘represent the NHS’.
Fans of the beloved baking series were upset at Paul, who failed to recognise the importance of the rainbow flag to the LGBTQ+ community during the technical bake.
Last week’s opening saw hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas cheekily mock the importance of the “Hollywood Handshake”, which contestants can only dream of receiving if their bake hits the mark.
After Noel hilariously shook Matt’s hand with Paul’s ‘stolen’ handshake, the baking star appeared on screen with two small prosthetic hands.
He said to a worried Noel and Matt: “You haven’t been playing with my handshake have you?
“Because if you have you’ll get this and this alright?” he warned as he revealed his doll-like hands.
However at the time, the sketch fell flat with some and had viewers calling it insensitive to people with Poland Syndrome.
Poland syndrome is a rare developmental disorder in which those affected are born with missing or underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body.
At the time, Paralympian Carly Tait wrote: “Oi @Channel4 do you need a #disabled expert or D&I consultant in your organisation as I would love to explain to you why the use of small hand as a comedy prop in #GBBO by
@PaulHollywood IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.”
Then later in the episode as bakers were required to make six perfectly-shaped rainbow bagels, Paul failed to acknowledge the significance the rainbow-flag had to the LGBTQ+ community.
Discussing the technical challenger for bread week, fellow judge Prue Leith, 80, asked: “Paul, why rainbow-coloured bagels?”
Answering her question, he shared: “I think bagels are a great challenge when you’re making bread, you’ve got to boil them which is unusual and then bake them as well.
“I think the rainbow colours for me, although it originated over in the States, I think it represents the NHS.”
To which Prue responded: “Well it does now”.
During lockdown, children were encouraged to stick rainbow drawings in their windows to show support for NHS workers working tirelessly to tackle coronavirus.
The idea took off, and it was rare to see a street without at least one rainbow proudly stuck to a window.
While Paul meant well with his dedication, some felt he should have at least referenced the LGBTQ+ community too.
One posted: “Hilarious that bake off are doing rainbow bagels for the nhs.. anything to not have queer rep on tv lmao.”
A second wrote: “I’m annoyed that Paul Hollywood just said rainbow bagels represent the NHS #bakeoff.”
As another said: “Making rainbow bagels on #bakeoff and Paul Hollywood reckons they make you think of the NHS. No Hun, those bagels are gay bagels.”
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