Are these people racist or just incredibly thick?
Channel 4 executives must be breaking out the Cubans – point of clarification in these nervous times – I mean to say that they must be unwrapping giant, expensive, hand-rolled smoking sticks rather than assisting residents of the stalwart communist island to choose between selling their soul or their daughters for the slim chance of a decent life. Not a bad idea for a reality TV show if I do say so myself. Sorry.
The Celebrity Big Brother racism row has engulfed the entire of humanity, not the sort of thing that a government or a sponsor might want, but the stuff of minority television legend. Could Channel 4 be the new HBO? Feast your eyes on this wave of destruction,
· 20,000 (and rising) complaints have been received by the television regulator OFCOM so far – dwarfing figures for the previous arbiter of tastelessness, Jerry Springer – The Opera.
· Questions in Parliament resulted in a reassuring ‘We should oppose racism in all its forms’, soundbite from Tony ‘Blah Blah’ Blair.
· Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown, inadvertently visiting
· Protesters in
The four Celebrity Big Brother tenants facing these allegations probably could not convince a neurologist that their collective brain activity is sufficient to justify life support. If only they knew how rich and famous their target Shilpa Shetty really is, they might be more gracious. But last year Big Brother slipped in a fake celebrity who everyone pretended to sort of recognise, so much so that she eventually won. Our smart quartet, whose loyal friendship rests on the fact that they have shared a nail technician, have banded together to make sure no fraud ‘from down the
· Jade Goody, former Big Brother loser and internationally renowned thicko.
· Jade’s boyfriend Jack Tweed, football manager to no one famous.
· Danielle Lloyd - Scouser ‘glamour’ (for international readers = topless), model and has-been footballer Teddy Sheringham’s (soon to be ex) girlfriend.
· Jo O’Meara, professional smoker and panic attackee, who used to be in some singing group for children, not Teletubbies, although she does bare a strong resemblance to La-La Telebubby.
A house full of ‘celebrities’ who don’t actually recognise each other and are left with neither a role nor a pecking order to conform to, will struggle to recall how humans respond to each other in normal society without personal assistants to explain that it’s probably not a great idea to scream all the time for no apparent reason. Think The Admirable Crichton without Kenneth More standing between the hysterical castaways and cannibalism, and you’ll have some idea of what’s happening in there. Think Post Office queue on pension day if you aren’t old enough to have seen The Admirable Crichton. The hapless housemates have no idea of the furore that is threatening to, well, probably do nothing except occupy news pages until Friday.
So, is it racism if a person with a mental age of two refers to someone who is pissing them off as a ‘dog’ or a ‘cunt’ even? The non British people in the house have had their eyebrows permanently raised by the revelation that it is not only possible to reach adulthood in this country without acquiring any learning, but it’s something that culturally defines and validates you. Welcome to modern
Try this for a barometer – When the housemates realised that Jack had been tasked with completing the group’s shopping list Danielle asked Jade, ‘Can he read?’ AND she wasn’t joking. AND Jade didn’t think it was on odd question. She simply answered ‘yes’, which must have come as an enormous relief to any footballer who has recently entrusted him with his contract negotiations. What has been said to and about Shilpa is clearly offensive but is it conscious racism if it’s an expression of blind ignorance and insecurity made by someone who probably couldn’t point to
‘Richard Linskell, of law firm Dawsons, said he had "no doubt" that some of the comments made on the TV programme would constitute racial discrimination or harassment if they had been spoken in an office.’
I have news. They are at work. They have a contract of employment and are getting paid so the Big Brother house is ‘a place of work’.
Text from Shilpa to the gang of four in a language they can understand,
C U in crt u cnts?
Picture from www.channel4.com