Chris O'Dowd: The X Factor viewing public is racist
Actor Chris O'Dowd has claimed black contestants on The X Factor leave the competition early because the "viewing public is racist".
The Bridesmaids star said he was a "big X Factor fan".
He added: "Generally my favourites go out in the first few weeks and, of course, because the viewing public is so racist, all the black, strong singers go out in round five."
The 34-year-old was speaking to the Radio Times when he made the comments.
Last year The X Factor contestant Hannah Barrett said she had been "disappointed" by the racist abuse she received while she was on the ITV show.
She said she felt it was important to address the issues of race and appearance in the music industry.
"You do see a lot of women who are black but just lighter. I think it was kind of hard for everyone to think she [Hannah] is fully black, she's proper dark."
She also said the problem was not limited to the audience of the show.
"In the charts now you have light-skinned people, light-skinned women, that everyone's attracted to."
She added: "There's hardly, really, a black woman everyone's attracted to as much."
Hallelujah singer Alexandra Burke became the first black contestant to win the show in 2008, while Leona Lewis, who triumphed in 2006, has a black father and white mother.
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