Sky History, the joint-venture UK television channel from A+E Networks and Comcast-backed Sky, has temporarily removed reality competition series The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker from its programming line-up after claims that a contestant has visible white supremacist tattoos on his face.
“While we further 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 of The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker until we have concluded that investigation. Sky History stands against racism and hate speech of all kinds,” a spokesperson confirmed to Realscreen.
The network on Monday (Oct. 19) uploaded a trailer to its Twitter page in which host Lee Mack introduces heavily tattooed participant Darren Lumsden (pictured) to fans.
Lumsden has the number 88 clearly tattooed on his right cheek. The numerical code serves as one of the most common white supremacist symbols that signifies “Heil Hitler,” according to The Anti-Defamation League.
Sky History on Monday was quick to issue a statement to various media outlets that hoped to clarify the incident as a coincidence, noting that Lumsden’s tattoos denoted “significant events in his life and have no political or ideological meaning whatsoever,” adding that “1988 is the year of his father’s death.”
However, various Twitter users — including geneticist Dr. Adam Rutherford, author of How To Argue With a Racist – have potentially identified further symbols associated with the white supremacist movement tattooed on Lumsden’s person.
1/11 = AK = Aryan Knights
3/11 = 3 K = KKK
109 = the claim that Jews have been expelled from 109 nations throughout history, sometimes coupled with
110 = in the hope that the US will be the next one
— Dr Adam Rutherford (@AdamRutherford) October 20, 2020
Produced by Big Wheel Film & Television and Motion Content Group, The Chop (9 x 60 minutes) invites 10 carpenters to craft items and artifacts around different historical themes to furnish a grand cabin in the woods with the hopes of being crowned Britain’s top woodworker.