Celebrity Big Brother UK has been under heavy media fire over the racist bullying of Bollywood star contestant Shilpa Shetty.
The ring leader in the centre of the abuse scandal is former Big Brother contestant, Jade Goody. The most successful “celebrity” to have been created by the show, Goody has amassed a fortune close to £7 million since she first appeared on the show in 2002. This month she entered the Celebrity Big Brother house, along with her mother and on again off again boyfriend, Jack Tweed.
After a fight in the kitchen over OXO stock cubes, Goody went on a rampage, telling Shetty to “go back to the slums and find out what real life is all about lady… You’re not some princess in f****** Neverland. I don’t give a shit. You’re a normal housemate like everybody else. You need to come to terms with that.” This was followed by former Miss Great Britain, Danielle Lloyd, adding, “I think she should f*ck off home. She can’t even speak English properly.” Goody’s mother Jackie frequently referred to Shetty as “the Indian”.
Just yesterday, Shilpa had expressed concerns to fellow housemate Cleo Rocos that she was being racially targetted after a huge argument with Jade. “Is that what today’s UK is? It’s scary,” Shilpa told Cleo.
Rocos said: “I don’t think there’s anything racist in it.” Shetty insisted: “It is, I’m telling you.”
Big Brother finally asked Shilpa in the Diary Room if she felt that yesterday’s row with Jade was racially motivated.
Looking tired and drawn Shilpa said: “No, actually I take that back. I don’t think that is true. You know, people say things in a fit of anger. I stand corrected. I don’t want people to think and feel that way…
“So even if I said it, I would like you to please clarify and put this as a statement from my side if you can: that I don’t feel there was any racial discrimination happening from Jade’s end.
“I think there are a lot of insecurities from her end but it’s definitely not racial. So yeah, that’s the way I feel.”
Regardless of Shetty’s change of mind, The Carphone Warehouse, a major sponsor of the show, has pulled its multi-millions from the program, media watchdog OfCom has logged over 33,000 complaints over the incident and effigies of the Big Brother creators have been burned in India.
The irony? Jade Goody is bi-racial herself. Goes to show that her rare form of classy intelligence knows no bounds – this is the girl who thought Saddam Hussein was a boxer, but never mind. Ratings for the show are going through the roof. 5.7 million drama seekers tuned in last night.
A Channel 4 insider said: “Racism is ugly but the viewing figures are beautiful. You can’t buy publicity like this. Everyone is talking about the programme, even the Prime Minister… while the racism is ambiguous there is no way they are going to pull the plug. If it steps up a gear then perhaps their hand will be forced but until then it is a godsend.”
Update by Celebitchy: Please welcome our new writer, Vanessa at Kickette. Vanessa spent several years working as a journalist in London, and is currently based in Toronto, Canada. Her blog, Kickette, focuses on footballer’s wives and girlfriends.
Jade Goody looks like a troll.
Quite frankly, I don’t know how a woman who’s worth about $14 million and a former Miss Great Britian get off telling anyone about “real life”.
I have been watchin BB and it is horrible i know i should jus stop watchin but i cant. The way the girls are treating shilpa is disgraceful, they are like playground bullys, and what jade was saying bout Shilpa thinkin she is better than the rest of them, how come she does all the cookin and cleaning then? the worst thing is that barely anyone has risen to her defence
And there you have the exact reason why I absolutely refuse to watch that shit. Human behaviour at its basest level.
What frewtloop said.
I have refused to watch it since it’s original TV incarnation. The everpresent fear of my brain cells having a mutiny and performing a mass exodus through my own nose pretty much stops any inclination.
I just have to see an advert for it and my faith in humanity plummets.
And that they’re using this issue to score publicity for the show pretty much lengthens my list or ‘reasons not to watch’.
shilpa , gt off frm that show b4 u lose ur sanity
Remember when Jane Goody picked a fight with a grandma?
jane goody is a jealous cow who’s mad at the beautiful Shilpa because she will never look that good!
I actually don’t see anything racist about Jane or Jade’s comment (although it was ultra-obnoxious and rude), although the comments of the other two people are blatantly anti-Indian.
At least it’s starting a national dialogue, although it must be so awful for Shilpa. Hope she’s not locked up in there much longer, poor woman.
I think the dialogue is ambiguous enough in some places to avoid being termed racism straight off the bat but it is born out of a jealousy of differences, and I do get the impression – from the quotes – that they (Jade and her mother) are trying to undermine and bully Shilpa.
Which is pretty much what racism does.
And the more insidious kind does it in a way that can’t be obviously pointed at and called on.
I always find it funny that people who employ this kind of bullying always state that person x is trying to either ‘get above their station’ or ‘thinks they’re better than everyone else’. When it’s actually more likely that person x just thinks they shouldn’t be harrassed for not wanting to pander to attention-seeking, twit narcissists.
And yes, apparently Jade did start a fight with an old lady.