The British equivalent of the Federal Communications Commission is investigating the show “Britain’s Got Talent” after a dog act triggered outrage and viewer complaints, the New York Post reports.
Simon Cowell of “American Idol” and “The X Factor” is the creator of the show and serves on the judging panel. He reportedly said he ‘felt like a bit of an idiot” after being taken in by a substitute dog used in the act.
The U.K. regulatory agency Ofcom is looking into whether the winning stunt-dog act misled viewers by bringing in a “ringer” for a high-wire act that was part of the performance. Ofcom reportedly received almost 2,000 complaints about the act, where Chase, a border collie, filled in for the star of the performance, Matisse, on the show’s season finale.
“Matisse’s owner, Jules O’Dwyer, said later she used Chase because Matisse is scared of heights,” the report notes.
An Ofcom official is quoted saying: “We’ve opened an investigation to determine whether viewers of ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ final, who may have paid money to vote, were misled about the competition.”
Here’s the dog act that set off the controversy: