‘I felt exposed to aggression’: The Apprentice’s Shazia Hussain claims she was ‘racially bullied’ after show’s diversity and inclusion task over her choice of cartoon giraffe name
The Apprentice candidate Shazia Hussain has claimed she was racially bullied during her time on the show.
Reality contestant Shazia, 40, said her troubles began after she named a giraffe Yogita for a pre-school cartoon during a task under a diversity and inclusion theme.
However, she insists some people in her team struggled with the name of the animal, saying young children would not be able to pronounce it.
She told The Sun: ‘I felt exposed to aggression because of it. I think it was racist’
While her team won the task, she added: ‘After the episode, I feel I was verbally abused by some of the candidates.
Claim: The Apprentice candidate Shazia Hussain, 40, has claimed she was racially bullied during her time on the show
‘They (the BBC) brought in a diversity specialist to talk to everyone but I feel nothing changed. The teams were also rearranged but I feel the bullying continued.
‘I feel like I was bullied and harassed to the point that I asked to leave the house. I feel like the BBC have failed me.’
She added that she complained about the three candidates involved but has not heard anything more, adding that she thought she was fired after the fifth task ‘because it was easier to take me out of the situation’.
Shazia said that she believes the BBC did not follow through on their duty of care for her.
A spokesperson for The Apprentice told the publication: ‘The Apprentice has a zero-tolerance policy on any kind of bullying or threatening behaviour.
‘As soon as Shazia raised a concern an investigation was conducted and she received in-person support from senior members of the production team.
‘The Apprentice has a strict code of conduct and we take all complaints very seriously and investigate when needed.
‘As a result, when action is required, we take it.
Speaking out: Reality contestant Shazia, 40, said her troubles began after she named a giraffe Yogita for a pre-school cartoon during a task under a diversity and inclusion theme.
‘Throughout the process there is always somebody on hand to deal with any concerns including five members of the production team who live in the house with the candidates during filming.
‘If anyone wants to leave the house or the process, candidates are free to do so at any time.
‘Since the beginning of the process, Shazia, along with all other candidates, has been, and continues to be, offered extensive and ongoing support, in all aspects of welfare (including managing social media), from BBC and the production company.
‘Duty of care to all our candidates is our highest priority and the support offered to candidates before, during and after is paramount.’
MailOnline has contacted The Apprentice for further comment.
Line-up: Last week The Apprentice unveiled its all-female Final Five for the second year running ahead of the final
In total there will have been 12 episodes in this series.
Only two candidates can proceed to the final and secure the life-changing investment in their business.
The two finalists must launch a new business and pitch it to Lord Sugar for the chance to win his £250,000 investment and become his next business partner.
The all-important interviews episode took place on Thursday, meaning the final episode, where this year’s winner will be announced, will take place on Thursday, March 23. on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 9pm.
Who will be made Lord Sugar’s next business partner? The two finalists must launch a new business and pitch it to Lord Sugar for the chance to win his £250,000 investment