Simon Cowell has insisted that viewers of The X Factor aren't racist.
It follows some comments by comedian Chris O'Dowd in a new interview in the Radio Times.
He said: “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 every year.”
The remarks prompted Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote, to complain: "I wouldn't describe voters as racist, but there's something more subtle going on which makes it harder for contestants with a 'darker' physical complexion to win public support.
"Generally the 'blacker' the artist is, the harder it is for the public to warm to them."
However Simon hit back today: "We are the least racist show you could possibly find in the world."
He told Entertainmentwise on the red carpet of today's press launch in London: "So not only is he ignorant, it's actually insulting to hear him say that. And it's insulting to our audience."
Simon added: "Alexandra Burke, JLS, Leona Lewis...It's ridiculous."
As we pointed out earlier today, the voting stats certainly don't support the racism claims.
Acts such as Hannah Barrett last started out as amongst the most popular with both her, Tamera Foster and Rough Copy in the top five in Week 2.
So unless it's being suggest viewers suddenly became racist in the space of a week, it's hard to put Hannah's appearance in the bottom two in Week 3 down to the colour of her skin.