AceShowbiz - Bosses at U.K. TV network Sky have suspended broadcasts of their new show "The Chop" after critics took aim at a trailer, which featured a contestant with what looked like a neo-Nazi tattoo.
The Sky HISTORY channel's carpentry contest, hosted by comedian Lee Mack, hit headlines on Tuesday (20Oct20) after a promotional clip was posted online, and many viewers noticed one heavily-tattooed contestant, named Darren, had skin art featuring an '88' on his face - the numerals commonly used by neo-Nazis to represent their Adolf Hitler salute 'Heil Hitler', as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Sky HISTORY bosses initially defended the show and the contestant, insisting the tattoo represents the year Darren's father died.
"Darren's tattoos denote significant events in his life and have no political or ideological meaning whatsoever," a statement posted on Twitter read. "Amongst the various numerical tattoos on his body, 1988 is the year of his father's death. The production team carried out extensive background checks on all the woodworkers taking part in the show, that confirmed Darren has no affiliations or links to racist groups, views or comments."
The statement failed to appease some critics, however, with some Twitter users explaining the font used for the tattoo resembled the Fraktur typeface used by the Nazis in World War Two Germany.
The controversy has now prompted TV bosses to remove the teaser video for the new show and postpone upcoming episodes.
SKY's senior communications manager David Clifton tells WENN, "While we further investigate the nature, and meaning, of Darren's tattoos, we have removed the video featuring him from our social media pages, and will not be broadcasting any episodes of The Chop: Britain's Top Woodworker until we have concluded that investigation. Sky HISTORY stands against racism and hate speech of all kinds."