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Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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Big Brother, Big Brouhaha

And in the end, it seems that Germaine Greer was right on target. After the global sound and fury, in the end, as expected, it signified nothing...

Big Brother, Big Brouhaha
| Channel 4
Big Brother, Big Brouhaha
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

On being asked if she still thought that Jade's argument with her two days ago was racially motivated. Shilpa shook her head and said, "No, I take it back. Everyone was having an argument. I don't think that is true now. People say things in a fit of anger. But I stand corrected. I don't want people to think and feel that I feel that way. In fact, I'd like you to please clarify.. put this as a statement from my side, if you can: I don't feel there was any racial discrimination happening from Jade's end. I don't think that's true. I think there's lots of insecurities from Jade, but it's definitely not racial."

Phew

***

So who had said what in the controversial episodes of the reality show Big Brother telecast on Channel 4 in the UK that caused a global controversy?

Jade Goody, 'housemate': "She makes me feel sick. She makes my skin crawl..." "Go back to the slums". [Goody's mother Jackiey more than once referred to Shilpa as "the Indian" while she was on the show and could not pronounce her name.]

Danielle Lloyd, 'housemate': "She should f*** off home. She can't even speak English... She's a dog." [And then when Shilpa was bleaching her face]: "She wants to be white."

During Communal Cooking:

Jo O'Meara, 'housemate': "I don't trust that chicken. I want to eat it but but I'm scared".

Danielle Lloyd: "You don't know where those hands have been".

Jackiey Budden, 'housemate': "Do you live in a house or a shack?"

Shilpa Shetty, to fellow 'housemate' Cleo Rocos: "I am representing my country. Is that what today's UK is? It's scary. It's quite a shame really."

Jermaine Jackson, 'housemate': (quoting his brother Michael Jackson's hit 'Man in The Mirror'): "They need to look in the mirror before they can make that charge."

***

Complaints to and reactions from Channel 4:

Anil Bhanot, General Secretary, Hindu Council, UK: "It has showed the ugly face of bullying that plagues the British society where a group from the host community single out one individual, Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, to shower abuse to the limits of vulgarity. The seed of racism was sown when one housemate refused to pronounce Shilpa's name with respect at the very start of the show. The Hindu Council works hard to harmonise race and faith relations in the UK and we are ashamed that parts of the native community still relish the sick exploitation of playing on people's external differences, whether racial, cultural or faith. We are proud of Shilpa Shetty's behaviour, in what seemed like unbearable circumstances, she has behaved admirably. We know full well of the tireless work that goes on in the UK on all equality strands but clearly the education system is failing us, not least the weak representative process at the Government decision levels for Hindus.

Carphone Warehouse, the sponsors of Celebrity Big Brother: "Our concern has rapidly mounted about the behaviour of individuals within the Big Brother house. We are totally against all forms of racism and bullying and this behaviour is at odds with our brand values. Nothing we saw last night gave us any comfort. We have instructed Channel 4 to remove our sponsorship name and branding with immediate effect."

Channel 4: "To date there has been no overt racial abuse or racist behaviour directed against Shilpa Shetty within the Big Brother house. However there has undoubtedly been a cultural and class clash between her and three of the British females in the house."

Dave Prentis, general secretary, Unison: ( to Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan and Ofcom): "Channel 4 is now effectively donating a free-view TV channel to louts who, it appears, wouldn't be too out of place in the extremist British National Party.

Andy Duncan, Chief Executive, Channel 4: "The level of complaint and comment shows the programme has touched a real nerve. The debate has been heated, the viewing has at times been uncomfortable but, in my view, it is unquestionably a good thing that the programme has raised these issues and provoked such a debate. These attitudes, however, distasteful, do persist - we need to confront that truth."

***

Off-the show reactions:

Carole Malone, evicted 'housemate': The incidents are motivated by jealousy. Shilpa is too good-looking for her own good. She's an incredibly powerful and beautiful woman. She is a very strong woman and can handle it. I spoke to her about it when I was in the house."

Sunanda Shetty, Shilpa Shetty's mother: "As a mother I did not think it was a very courageous and a brave decision of her wanting to sit in a fish bowl and be watched 24 hours. As a film star, she does not need to do it."

Dale Bhagwagar, Shilpa Shetty's spokesperson: "Shilpa's family strongly feels that this is a game, and it should be treated in that spirit, rather than becoming an issue between two nations. Admittedly the remarks directed at her were racist, but we are confident of her ability to deal with this and move on... We are overwhelmed and touched by the outpouring of public support for Shilpa, not just from India and but from across the globe... Since Shilpa is not allowed to communicate with anybody except inmates of the house on this show, she is obviously not aware of these racist statements made behind her back and I am confident even if she was aware, she would much rather sort it out and move on."

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