University Challenge Birmingham captain accused of “sexism” AGAIN

The Birmingham University Challenge team captain faced a wave of criticism online after appearing to ignore the only female member of his team during last night’s episode.

Michael Joel Bartelle, of San Antonio, Texas, faced a massive backlash on social media after yesterday’s quarterfinal, which saw the University of Reading beat Birmingham with 170 points to 135.

Viewers accused the American student of having ‘totally overshadowed’ his teammate, Jamie Sajit, by frequently turning his back on her – preferring to discuss the answers with his male co-quizzes instead.

This isn’t the first time Bartelle has been accused of sacking her teammate, with viewers taking to social media to express their frustration after the team’s first appearance in December.

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The Birmingham University Challenge team captain faced a wave of criticism online after appearing to ignore the only female member of his team during last night's episode.

The Birmingham University Challenge team captain faced a wave of criticism online after appearing to ignore the only female member of his team during last night’s episode.

Unimpressed viewers of last night’s episode were quick to comment on Twitter, with one accusing the male members of the “chauvinistic” team of ignoring Sajit, while others called the episode “toes twist” and “awkward.”

“Rather happy that Reading won this. Okay, I studied there, but mostly because Bartelle thinks he only has two other boy brains on the team… toe curling, ”wrote one unimpressed viewer.

“I think they should just go all the way and put a blind over Bartelle’s plexiglass on Sajit’s side,” said another.

‘What a great match, only spoiled by Bartelle who totally blanked one of his own! #UniversityChallenge, ‘commented a third.

Unimpressed viewers of last night's episode were quick to comment on Twitter, with one accusing the male members of the

Unimpressed viewers of last night’s episode were quick to comment on Twitter, with one accusing the male members of the “chauvinistic” team of ignoring Sajit, while others called the episode “toes twist” and “awkward.”

“10 points for that …” Who is going to be ignored and blatantly dismissed in tonight’s competition by the Birmingham team manager? Another viewer joked.

Bartelle, who is doing a PhD in Shakespeare studies, was accused of ignoring medical student Jamie, of Derby, after his last appearance in December and took to Twitter to defend himself.

Dismissing the accusations, he wrote: “Hi everyone. I don’t discriminate. At a conference, I turn to one of my teammates if he comes up with an answer. I love them all and that. are all amazing quizzes. Much love to everyone who had a warm feedback for our team. ‘

He added: “I’m not really sure what to say other than taking into account every response that was offered by my three teammates. They all contributed massively to our victory and I’m proud of it. ‘them.

Bartelle, who is studying for a doctorate in Shakespeare studies, has been accused of ignoring medical student Jamie, of Derby, when he first appeared on the show in December.  The pair are pictured during last night's episode

Bartelle, who is studying for a doctorate in Shakespeare studies, has been accused of ignoring medical student Jamie, of Derby, when he first appeared on the show in December. The pair are pictured during last night’s episode

However, Bartelle, pictured on last night’s episode, denied the sexism claims, insisting he “does not discriminate”

Friends also rallied in defense of the quiz, with fellow contestant Fatima writing: “Michael Bartelle is a delight and surprisingly supported my quiz. I’m all for pointing out sexism, but that’s not the #UniversityChallenge ‘leader

The show’s former contestant, James Devine-Stoneman, agreed, tweeting: “I just said Bartelle from Birmingham is a great guy and the Twitter jury has to screw it up.”

He added, “Good lesson on how taking a selective screenshot and the right narrative can make anyone look awful. Complete absurdity. I was accused of the same when I was on it. Don’t wear it. no judgment on the people you see on the screen for half an hour.

Elsewhere in the Birmingham squad were Mark McParlan, of Liverpool, who studies history and English, and John Robinson, of Sevenoaks, studying for an MA in Literature and Culture.

One viewer became so frustrated with Bartelle's seemingly dismissive attitude towards Sajit during his December appearance that he said he

One viewer became so frustrated with Bartelle’s seemingly dismissive attitude towards Sajit during his December appearance that he said he “couldn’t look at the screen”.

As academic competition intensifies, viewer favorites have also emerged, including last night’s reading captain, Michael Hutchinson, who was hailed as a “peerless player” after his first appearance in August of the l ‘last year.

Hutchinson, a PGCE Maths student, from Andover, was praised after getting eight Starter for Ten questions correctly and answering six bonus questions without help from his team and three with assistance.

Elsewhere on the Reading team were Alex Skopic, who is studying for an MA in English Literature, Margaret Ounsley, who is studying for a PhD in History, and Sylvian Jesudoss who is studying for a PhD in Marketing.

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