Moone Boy and Bridesmaids star Chris O'Dowd has said that black singers do not progress far enough on the X Factor because the "viewing public is racist".
Speaking to the Radio Times, the 34-year-old Roscommon actor said he was a fan of the music reality show but added: "My favourites go out in the first few weeks and, because viewers are so racist, the black, strong singers go out in round five every year."
Last year, X Factor singer Hannah Barrett revealed that she suffered from abuse. "People say, 'You're black and ugly'. The sad thing is that most of them are made by black people who just have lighter skin than me," she told Reveal magazine.
Alexandra Burke was the first black singer to win the show in 2008, and Leona Lewis, who has a black father and white mother, won in 2006.