A British actor who was removed from that country's "Celebrity Big Brother" reality program has apologized for a Holocaust joke directed at a Jewish contestant, JTA reported Monday. The actor, Christopher Biggins, also said he would visit Auschwitz during a visit to Poland.
Biggins was removed from the popular reality television show on Friday after three warnings about tasteless remarks about bisexuals and the Holocaust, according to British news reports. Among his remarks on the program, Biggins reportedly said to fellow housemate Katie Waissel, who is Jewish, while she was waiting to use the bathroom in the Big Brother house, "You better be careful or they'll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room."
He later admitted in interviews that he was referring to the Nazi gas chambers. Biggins said he apologized to Waissel and "Big Brother" for the"trite, ridiculous remark" and said he would visit Auschwitz during a trip to Poland in October. "Before I went into the house, my partner Neil (Sinclair) and I were talking about it because we just feel the whole scenario of the Jewish annihilation is so horrific that we wanted to experience it for ourselves. We"re going for five days in October. I"m really looking forward to it. Especially now after this incident," he was quoted as having said.
The incident follows the release last week of a report which found there has been an 11-percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of 2016. The Community Security Trust (CST) registered 557 anti-Semitic incidents in that period, compared to 500 in the first half of 2015. The 557-incident total is the second-highest CST has ever recorded in the January-June period of any year, after 629 incidents recorded in the first half of 2009.
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