The Apprentice is back on our screens this October but not without conflict and drama… and it’s only three weeks in!

Already series 15 of the business reality show has seen a racism row and now a sexism debate has begun.

Episode 3 (Wednesday, October 16th) saw Pamela Laird under fire on Twitter for comments she made to her fellow candidate during the week’s task.

Here’s what went down in The Apprentice this week and what the internet had to say about Pamela’s sexist comments.

Picture Shows: Pamela discussing pitching strategy on task. Pamela Laird – (C) Boundless – Photographer: n/a

Pamela and Lewis butt heads

After two weeks, Lord Alan Sugar decided to mix up the teams rather than divide them by gender as the girls had been successful two weeks running. The teams were split into Empower and Unison.

Irish businesswoman Pamela Laird was appointed team leader for Empower in episode 3.

When designating roles, Pamela refused to appoint Lewis as her sub team-leader despite his marketing experience. Instead, Pamela insisted her team be run by all women.

She said: “Unfortunately, boys, we’ve got to have a girl in charge of the sub-team.”

This inevitably shocked Lewis who immediately complained about her decision. He said, “it’s not about gender, it’s about skill set” for which he had a Master’s degree in marketing.

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Screenshot: The Apprentice S15 E3 – iPlayer
Screenshot: The Apprentice S15 E3 – iPlayer

What if the roles were reversed?

The problematic nature of what Pamela said struck a nerve with viewers at home.

Mainly, the issue centred on what people would say if roles reversed.

One viewer commented: “All hell would break loose if a man had said that about a woman leading the sub team, disgusting comment from her.” Another chimed in and called Pamela and her decisions “sexist, ignorant and just downright stupid.”

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Should the BBC act on Pamela’s actions?

The outrage on Twitter not only centred on what Pamela said but also on what the BBC should do about it.

Any form of discrimination is not tolerated by the network and yet some have expressed their doubts that they will comment on Pamela’s actions. Some viewers discussing the episode on Twitter thought it may be swept under the carpet as ‘reverse sexism’ is not viewed as a pressing issue or not as important.

But as one Twitter user added, “Male or female it’s wrong and needs to be highlighted.”

The BBC have not commented on the events of episode 3 as of yet.



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Eve Edwards
Eve Edwards

Eve spends her days writing about everything culture-related. From celebrity news to music, film and television, Eve covers all bases. When she’s not writing you can find her making music or mastering the art of homemade pasta.

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