Katie Piper has sparked some controversy online following comments made about the goth culture and aesthetic on an episode of Loose Women which aired in December last year. According to an audience report from Ofcom, the ITV show saw a number of complaints be filed against it for the views shared in the segment.
This is everything you need to know.
What did Katie Piper say on Loose Women?
On an episode of Loose Women which aired on 22 December last year, Piper, joined by her fellow panellists Kaye Adams, Judi Love and Nadia Swahala, discussed whether parents should impose their lifestyles on their children.
Specifically, the stars talked about how Netflix’s recently released Wednesday series is bringing “goth style back into the cultural mainstream”. They then focused their attention on mother Reby Hardy, who posts TikToks about the “day in the life of a gothic baby”. The clips showcase her home which is heavily gothic inspired, with dark walls and furniture, and an old fashioned looking wooden cot for her baby.
After playing the clip, Pipe declared that she didn’t “like that interior” before adding: “It’s all black and dark. Babies don’t like that.”
She continued: “I’m just going to put it out there, it’s giving me satanic vibes, it’s giving me bad energy, it’s toxic. I don’t like it and also, it’s a baby. The cots are a tomb. You can’t put your baby in a grave.”
What was the response like?
On Twitter, Loose Women viewers were less than impressed with Piper’s comments.
One person wrote: “Advocate for not judging a book by its cover. Calls someone’s home interior satanic & toxic & judges parenting based off looks. No @KatiePiper_ babe, the only toxic one here is you.”
Another tweeted: “I expect to see an apology from @KatiePiper_ in the coming days instead of being silent. This perspective of goth & alternative culture is what keeps those of us in it constantly penalised.”
“@LooseWomen I think you need to publicly apologise for slamming the goth subculture on national TV. Educate yourselves with the Sophie Lancaster foundation. It’s because of people like Katie Piper that goths get so much abuse and worse. Disgusting behaviour in this day and age,” another wrote.
The Sophie Lancaster foundation that the tweet names refers to a foundation set up following the 2007 murder of Sophie Lancaster, who was involved in the goth subculture. She and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were attacked by a group of five boys in a park in Lancashire, and while Maltby survived, Lancaster died two weeks later in hospital. The Sophie Lancaster foundation states that the 20 year old was “murdered for being different”.
How many complaints were made to Ofcom?
Ofcom releases a weekly audience report which covers complaints received over the course of that week. The audience report only covers programmes that attracted over 50 complaints - those with fewer than 50 complaints don’t make it onto the list.
These are the complaints that were made to Ofcom between Tuesday 20 December 2022 and Monday 2 January 2023:
- FIFA World Cup Final 2022: Argentina v France, 18 December 2022, 101 complaints
- Laurence Fox, 30 December 2022, 74 complaints
- Loose Women, 22 December 2022, 62 complaints
- Dan Wootton Tonight, 19 December 2022, 53 complaints
Has the original creator responded?
Hardy released a TikTok responding to the Loose Women segment, explaining that her “goth baby” videos are a “skit” and showing more rooms around her house that are colourful and bright.
After playing a clip of Piper making her “bad vibes” and “Satanic energy” comments, Hardy said: “Girl, what? Then they go on to talk about “beige mums” who do everything monochromatically, with beige and cream. Oh, so that’s okay?”
Hardy then went on to say that the views shared on Loose Women felt like “an attack on being different”, and called co-hosts a “panel of misinformed people who associate colour with religion”.