Rufus Hound “won’t be kicked off” Dancing on Ice after a batch of tweets containing racist and homophobic slurs resurfaced.
The comedian, 41, is under fire over a string of historic tweets in which he referred to singer Ed Sheeran as a “gay lord” and used racist slurs including the N-word – posts he has since called “stupid and hurtful”.
However, ITV bosses reportedly have no plans to remove him from the ice skating show, despite having booted I’m A Celebrity star Jack Maynard in 2017 after similarly barbed tweets were mined.
“Dancing On Ice have made their position clear and while Rufus’s tweets have been quietly condemned, right now it’s not being seen as an offence which would require his removal,” a source told The Sun.
“It seems there is one rule for some, and one for another. After Jack was taken off I’m A Celebrity for the same kind of tweets, it was assumed that Rufus would be told he should step down.
“But it’s been made clear to those working on the show that they’re standing by him.”
Rufus Hound tweeted the N-word and joked about the Manchester Arena bombing.
On 14 November, 2012, Rufus Hound replied to a tweet by Ed Sheeran with: “Gay lord.”
In an exchange about celebrities “playing with fire”, he used two racial slurs in full.
“Yes. Absolutely. And 28 years ago you’d have heard people talking about ’N*****s and p***s’. So, no problem there?”
Hound also made unpleasant reference to the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, agreeing with a suggestion that the explosion that tore through an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people, was planned by then-prime minister Theresa May.
“Given the attacker was known to MI5, the timing seems fortunate for May that an attack ‘slips through’ as Labour are making progress,” he retweeted, The Sun on Sunday reported.
Hound then added: “Apologies for mild tinhattedness, but I’ve been thinking the same. [Especially] as she was home secretary for so long.”
Ahead of the Sun article’s publication, Hound reshared a September 2020 thread in which he responded to criticism of his older tweets.
“Occasionally for different reasons, people trawl through my timeline (I’ve been on this site for 11 years, so that’s a fair bit of material) to find stuff that they can take offence at or inspire offence in others with,” he wrote.
“So, I just want to make something abundantly clear: When I was a stand-up and a younger man, the culture on here was much darker and edgier. I made jokes about race, sexuality, politics… everything.
‘You may not like those jokes. You may find those jokes offensive or upsetting. And if you do, there’s a very good chance that I hadn’t thought about them or the subjects they covered enough.”
He added: “If anything I’ve said or tweeted in the past was stupid or hurtful, it’s because I can be stupid and hurtful. I, sincerely, try to understand and do better.
“Ask anyone who knows me. I am not short of thinking. Paralysingly, sometimes.”
There's a torrent more tabloid outrage being poured on me tomorrow, of the exact kind I assumed last September.
Anything and everything I want to say about it is in my pinned tweet from then.
And to the people in the other reality – I'm sorry you ended up there x https://t.co/JENsTcY1So
— Rufus Hound 💙 (@RufusHound) January 24, 2021
PinkNews contacted Rufus Hound and ITV for comment.