Bollywood star SHILPA SHETTY is at the centre of a race debate after viewers of hit UK reality show Celebrity Big Brother complained the contestant was the victim of bullying.
Shetty, who is appearing on the programme alongside Jermaine Jackson and former A-TEAM star DIRK BENEDICT, has allegedly been subject to a torrent of racial abuse since she entered the sealed compound earlier this month (JAN07).
Britain's media watchdog Ofcom has received more than 2,000 complaints after the glamorous star's accent was mocked by housemates and she was taunted by evicted contestant JACKIEY GOODY as "the Indian".
However, the show's broadcaster Channel 4 denies the situation is spiralling dangerously out of control.
A spokesman for the programme says, "We take this matter very seriously. Big Brother does not tolerate bullying or racist abuse.
"We are monitoring all the housemates and will take appropriate measures to reprimand such behaviour where necessary.
"The social interactions and dynamics of the group are one of the key parts of the Big Brother story and viewers have a right to see these portrayed accurately.
"However, this is balanced with our duty not to broadcast material that may cause unjustifiable offence."