Reality Show Pulled Over Face Tattoo Controversy

Viewers said some tattoos were neo-Nazi code
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2020 7:00 PM CDT
Reality Show Pulled Over Face Tattoo Controversy
Darren Lumsden was one of 10 contestants on the show.   (YouTube)

The broadcast of a new reality show in Britain was postponed after viewers got a good look at one of the contestant's tattoos. In a promotional clip for The Chop: Britain's Best Woodworker, numerical tattoos including 88 could be seen on the heavily tattooed face and head of contestant Darren Lumsden, Deadline reports. The number is widely used by white supremacists as code for HH—"Heil Hitler." On his temples, the carpenter had the numbers "23" and "16," which are used as code for WH, or "White Power." The Sky History channel, a joint venture between A&E and Comcast, initially defended Lumsden, saying the tattoos "denote significant events in his life" and the other meanings were just an unfortunate coincidence, but it later said the show would be taken off the air pending an investigation.

While "we 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 ... until we have concluded that investigation," A&E Networks said in a statement, per BuzzFeed. Experts said they had spotted several other questionable tattoos on the carpenter. "I spend a lot of time on white supremacy forums online, and they have dozens of really idiotic numerical codes, most of which are substitution ciphers that a 7 year old would come up with," tweeted geneticist and How to Argue With a Racist author Dr. Adam Rutherford. (More reality TV stories.)

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