Anti-prostitution campaigners have accused The X Factor of glamorising prostitution after the programme’s bosses decided to keep an escort girl on the show.
The row comes amidst increasing concern about the sexualisation of society, and its impact on the nation’s children.
Allegations about contestant Chloe Heald’s work as a prostitute first surfaced ahead of last week’s episode of The X Factor, and earlier this week it was revealed that she had used her new found fame to charge more for sex.
Anti-prostitution campaigners have criticised the programme for glamorising prostitution.
Tessa Wright, from Choose Life, a group which helps women escape from prostitution, said: “Whilst we applaud any sex worker for trying to find another career, putting this girl on TV and making her an icon is not something we’d advocate.
“Millions of kids watch X Factor – and, in a way, Chloe being on the show will glamorise the sex industry. The further she goes in the programme the worse it will be.”
And Andie Young, from the campaign group Women Not Sex Objects, said Miss Heald “needs counselling and support, not parading on TV.”
Chloe Heald passed though to the next stage of the highly popular X Factor show on Saturday.
But the next day it was revealed that she was selling sex for money whilst staying at a hotel for the ‘Boot Camp’ section of the show.
After progressing to the next stage of the show Miss Heald is reported to be charging more, and she also advertised her services on the internet.
However, Miss Heald has denied the allegations that she works as a prostitute, and has said that she works as a “sexy” dancer.
She said: “I get paid about £200 each time I do that. The claims I’m a prostitute have been heart-breaking.
“There are fake websites about me saying I’m selling myself but they’ve taken pictures from my Facebook.”
Earlier this month a children’s author warned that Britain’s sexualised society had caused two middle-class girls to become call girls, selling their bodies to football stars.
Bel Mooney, writing in the Daily Mail, attacked popular culture that promotes female promiscuity as ’empowerment’ and perpetuates the ‘happy hooker’ myth.
She also warned about the ‘pornification’ of teenage boys whose attitude to sex comes from viewing pornography on the internet.
Bel Mooney said: “Little by little, the gutter has become the cultural main street”.
She added: “As a children’s author, I have found myself in many schools over the past 25 years and noticed one significant change — nowadays, girls of ten and over seem to have grown up far too quickly.
“So many aspects of popular culture — from fashion, to pop lyrics and videos, to advertising, through to TV programmes like Big Brother and The X Factor — peddle a combined message of sleaze and greed.
“This corrupting influence is very hard to avoid. Once, a little girl might have wanted to be a teacher or a doctor (and of course, many still do), but now, sadly, she is likely to say she wants to be a model, a pop star or a WAG.
“The most frequent answer I get, when I ask little girls what their ambitions are, is: ‘I want to be famous.'”