The missing Big Brother transcript


by Sunny
24th May, 2007 at 2:42 pm    

Well. The sh!t has hit the fan now. Today the Ofcom report into Channel 4′s Big Brother race row came out. And guess what it turns out – that Channel 4 didn’t tell us about a secret game of limerick being played at night and denied there was any racism going on in the house.

Ofcom has released a transcript of the racial incidents inside the house. This was the transcript of what they didn’t play or acknowledge.

Tuesday 16th January 2007 approx. 23:40:
[Cross talk]
Cleo: Just my luck.
Jade: What happened?
Cleo: Got full again.
Jade: Yeah, but I wanted a drink and it just went –
Cleo: Oh, I miss my huge mouth the whole time. It’s so embarrassing in restaurants when you go like this and… That’s why I never drink red. It really shows. No. It’s not going for you.
Jo: There once was a house that was happy.
Jade: I’ve got a great one, but I’m not allowed to say it.
Danielle: Why? Why? I want to know.
Cleo: She can’t if she can’t say it.

Jo: There once was a house that was happy, ‘mi ni mi ni mi ni mi ni’ and then there entered…
Cleo: You’re all going to go to Big Brother prison.
Danielle: How do you know what –
Cleo: And you’re going to need me –
Jo: But it ends with a nappy. What’s wrong with you people?
Jack: But if you say, ‘Along came some people who were tacky’.
Jade: There once was a house that was happy, until…
Jack: They made it really tacky.

Jade: Until there entered a… Until there entered a…
Jo: Strappy… Strap-on.
Jack: Strap-on
Jade: No, no, no, there once was a house that was happy…
Jo: Until someone got yappy.
Jade: Yes. There once was a house that was happy, until someone got yappy.
Jack: She nearly killed everyone with a chicken.
Cleo: But everything ended up finger-lickin’.
Jo: Now you’ve got to do something that rhymes with a nappy.
Cleo: Oh, God, don’t give that to Danielle, for God’s sake.
Danielle: And it all ended up – Being crappy.
Cleo: Oh, dear me.
Jo: Right.
Danielle: That could have been rather disturbing, that.
Jo: That was a good one.

*********

In addition to that, Big Brother also gave a formal warning to Jo (transcript below) but neither told viewers about it nor admitted later that there was any evidence of racism.

Saturday 20th January 2007 approx. 19:47 – DIARY ROOM WITH JO O’MEARA:
Jo: I thought I was coming to collect some beers.

Big Brother: Hello, Jo.

Jo: Hello.

Big Brother: Jo, please could you switch off your microphone and take the battery out for Big Brother please? You should still know you’re being recorded.

Jo: Okay. Am I in trouble? There you go.

Big Brother: Thanks, Jo. Jo, Big Brother would like to make it clear that what we’re about to talk about is a matter that Big Brother has decided to raise with you. Just to be clear, this has not come from any of the other housemates. Do you understand?

Jo: Right. I think so.

Big Brother: To clarify, Big Brother has decided to raise this matter with you.

Jo: Okay.

Big Brother: Jo, it has only now come to Big Brother’s attention that you have made remarks that Big Brother considers to be racially offensive.

Jo: Oh, you’re kidding. Like what?

Big Brother: On Tuesday night, which was day 14 in the Big Brother house, you and other housemates were playing a game where you were making up limericks about Shilpa.

Jo: Yeah.

Big Brother: As part of this game, you used rhyming slang to replace what other housemates called ‘the “P” word’. The rhyming slangs you used were the words –

Jo: I never said the ‘P’ word.

Big Brother: The rhyming slang you used were the words ‘nappy’, ‘happy’ and ‘strappy’, amongst others.

Jo: That depends on how you take it. I’m not a racist person at all, ever, and I never, ever have been. I know that.

Big Brother: Jo, it’s clear to Big Brother that, in this conversation, this game, that these rhyming words were references to the racial insult ‘Paki’.

Jo: Right, okay.

Big Brother: Do you understand that this is considered racially offensive language?

Jo: Yes, I do. I didn’t… really didn’t mean it in that way, though.

Big Brother: Big Brother would like to give you some time to respond.

Jo: I don’t know how to respond to that, to be honest. I don’t consider myself to be racist at all, against anybody or any religion or… and, like, if Jermaine is praying or Shilpa’s praying, I always stay out of the room, I stay out of the way and I let them do what they do, and I ask questions about it and… and I want to know more about their religions and stuff. I don’t see that as a problem at all. I didn’t realise the seriousness of it and I apologise if I offended anybody, but I never, ever meant to.

Big Brother: Do you remember the incident?

Jo: Yeah, I do.

Big Brother: Can you take Big Brother through your version of the events?

Jo: Oh, God, I don’t know if I remember it to that extreme. It was just playing rhyming slangs and I was just… So you say whatever. You say lots of different stuff.

Big Brother: Do you remember any of the lines of the limerick?

Jo: Do you know what, I really don’t, because in here, we were talking earlier on about being in the servants’ quarters, and that feels like about three or four months ago. So, no, I don’t, to be honest.

Big Brother: Do you remember who was involved in the game?

Jo: Me… the same people that always play the limerick game, so that would be me, Jade, Dan… maybe Cleo. She sometimes plays. And Jack.

Big Brother: In the limerick, do you remember what you intended the words ‘happy’, ‘strappy’ –

Jo: Well, no, because it could’ve… we could’ve said anything. It didn’t necessarily have to mean that. Do you know what, it didn’t even mean that. It’s just how you take it. You come out with all different stuff. We’ve come up with loads of rude things playing that game. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s intended to be racist.

Big Brother: Jo, during the game, Jack said that the word rhymed with ‘tacky’.

Jo: Well then, that’s Jack, isn’t it? That’s not me.

Big Brother: Do you understand how it might have been considered racist to be using a rhyming slang that rhymed with ‘Paki’?

Jo: Yeah, I can now, but do you know what, I didn’t really take much notice of it at the time. It’s just… you just play silly games in this house and do silly things when there’s nothing to do, so you just find ways of trying to entertain yourself. Today’s been another day which has been really tough for everyone because we’ve not had anything to do again. And it’s getting to that point now where everyone’s, like, ‘Ugh’. I never meant for it to be that way, and if it was that way, then I apologise.

Big Brother: Jo, just to be clear, do you understand that the word, and any inference using rhyming slang of that word, could consider… could be considered to be racially offensive?

Jo: Yes.

Big Brother: Jo, Big Brother will not tolerate any racist behaviour or anything that could be seen to be racist behaviour in the Big Brother house.

Jo: Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not a… I’m not racist at all, though. That’s the thing. I’m really, really not. Really not. I’ve not seen eye-to-eye with Shilpa throughout this whole game, and I’m not going to start pretending that she’s my best friend but she’s a… I’ve got on a lot better with her today than I have throughout the whole show.

Big Brother: Why do you think that is?

Jo: I have got no idea. I really, really don’t know, but… I just think the group is slowly starting to get smaller now and you’ve got to start spending time with different people, because people are going. I think, is it six people, have left now. And I suppose, as the group gets smaller and the people you’re left with, you… you have to communicate more and talk more with, so I’ve been speaking a lot more today, and I’ve spoken a lot more to Jermaine today as well. We’ve been playing games. And I know that I’m not a racist person because my cousin is married to an Indian and half of the side of, like, that side of my family are all Indian. So I’m not a racist person at all. All my cou… I’d say, well… my cousin’s married to an Indian man and they’ve got four children and all their… his family interact with my family, so I’m surrounded by Indians a lot, because they’re part of my family, so I wouldn’t be racist. My cousins are Indian.

Big Brother: Jo, as a result of this incident, Big Brother has no option but to issue you with your first and only formal warning.

Jo: Okay.

Big Brother: Any further incidents could result in your immediate eviction.

Jo: Okay. So I’ve had a warning and that’s my last one.

Big Brother: Correct.

Jo: Okay.

Big Brother: Jo, Big Brother would ask that you exercise care in the future.

Jo: Yes, I will, and I’m very, very sorry.

Big Brother: Big Brother would also like to remind you that, as always, all diary room conversations between Big Brother and housemates are confidential.

Jo: Okay.

Big Brother: Do you understand?

Jo: Yes, I do.

Big Brother: Jo, Big Brother has arranged for you to have a short conversation, off camera –

Jo: Okay.

Big Brother: With Steven, the psychologist. A brief chat to talk through this matter in confidence, for your benefit.

Jo: Okay.

Big Brother: Big Brother will now hand over to Steven.

Jo: Okay.

Big Brother: There may be a short pause while we ensure that the diary room is not being recorded.

Jo: Thank you.

Big Brother: Thanks, Jo.


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Filed in: Media,Race politics






94 Comments below   |  

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  1. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 3:16 pm  

    ‘Paki’ limericks — nice!

    Channel 4 executives, I hope Krishnan Guru Murthy and all the other ‘Pakis’ who work for you put laxatives in your lunch, you amoral pricks.

  2. Leon — on 24th May, 2007 at 3:37 pm  

    Ofcom aren’t fining Ch4 are they?

  3. Rumbold — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

    “my cousin’s married to an Indian man and they’ve got four children and all their… his family interact with my family, so I’m surrounded by Indians a lot, because they’re part of my family, so I wouldn’t be racist. My cousins are Indian.”

    My Asian wife and I …

  4. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:09 pm  

    ha! Exactly what my Asian wife and I were thinking…

  5. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

    I remember the Decent Left bloggers at Harry’s Place were defending Jade and crew unconditionally during the whole sorry fucking episode.

  6. Leon — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:14 pm  

    So Ch4 decided to allow the media bandwagon to develop rather than nip it in the bud at an earlier stage?

  7. The Common Humanist — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:20 pm  

    “I remember the Decent Left bloggers at Harry’s Place were defending Jade and crew unconditionally during the whole sorry fucking episode”

    Errrr….I sometimes visit HP and don’t remember that. Prove it or stop with the slurs.

    TCH

  8. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:22 pm  

    antisemtism is unconditionally a BAD THING but paki-bashing is tolerable if perpetrated by representative of the white “underclass” and kids of mixed race marriages, was the editorial policy at HP.

  9. The Common Humanist — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:28 pm  

    So there will be no proof them?

    Editorial policy……my foot.

    Paki bashing is not tolerated by anyone who posts at HP as you well know. Some of the commentors however are different but they do not own or work on the site – they are members of the public. Are you actually saying that because some of the commentors are creepy racists that by extension the site and its team is?

    Racist the good people at HP are most definately not.

    By your estimation this is a rapid hard right islamist site because some cruise past and comment once a while.

  10. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

    Relax, and stop throwing retarded straw men in my direction, you buffoon. None of the writers comment in an islamist fashion.

  11. Jai — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:32 pm  

    Shame on Channel 4. Shame on the executives who came out with excuse after excuse to attempt to exonerate the offenders of their blatantly racist attitudes. Shame on Jade, Jo and the rest of their cohorts for their disgusting bigotry. And shame on the Brits behind closed doors who support them, who excuse similar behaviour in the workplace or in the private social spheres in the UK by sniggering away and/or staying silent in the face of such actions, and then either smirk at their Jim Davidson “cheeky chappie” bigoted persona or slyly mumble platitudes about “er…..I’m sure he’s not really racist”.

    I’d say “Fuck you all”, but you know that the only response from such individuals would be further smirks.

  12. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

    Well I am less prepared than Graham would appear to be to make excuses for English working-class racism: but I do think (if it matters, and I’m not sure that it does?) that this is largely subconscious and mixed in with broader ignorance, limited social experience of those outside their own set on the part of those responsible, and a general lack of cultural and other sophistication.

    From Big Brother

  13. The Common Humanist — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

    Buffoon???

    You have just accused a website of having a racist editorial policy……go on, try their extensive archives??????

    No, I said some of the commentors are islamists.

    The writers here are great. Some of the commentors are…..not…..most are but there are some nutbars – just like at HP, but with less frothing here.

  14. Rumbold — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    Sid, I think that you are mistaken on this occasion.

    From the first ‘Harry’s Place’ post on the issue-
    http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2007_01.html About halfway down the page, Jan 17th.

    “Although Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, the focus of the alleged racist abuse, has not yet complained to the outside world it does appear she is being picked on with some racism thrown in to boot.”

    There were 1063 comments, probably a reocrd, so I suspect there was a wide range of views. The ‘Harry’s Place’ comment box is about as uniform as ‘Pickled Politics’.

  15. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    You have just accused a website of having a racist editorial policy

    and channel 4 has jumped up execs who will do anything for ratings. so fucking what?

  16. Inders — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:37 pm  

    How exactly are channel 4 to blame for this ?

    Its not like they aired it…

    or said it ….

  17. The Common Humanist — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:40 pm  

    So unfounded racist allegations are ok now?

    right.

    [steps slowly away]

  18. Leon — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    How exactly are channel 4 to blame for this ?

    They knew exactly what had transpired and decided to let things roll on for, what I can only assume, were PR purposes (although that strategy backfired big time).

    They made a business decision it seems…

  19. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:48 pm  

    Who said anyone’s racist? But HP writers did a lot to defend and contextualise the racism of Jade Goody and crew – often without having even seen or heard the footage. Would they do that on behalf of some scumbag in TOPMAN paramilitary paraphenelia ranting homophobic or antisemitic abuse in a demonstration protesting “British Oppression”?

  20. Refresh — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:48 pm  

    Just a thought – how many additional viewers will BB 2007 have now C4 will be transmitting apologies at the start of the series?

  21. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:48 pm  

    The Common Humanist —- whenever an Islamist nutjob posts here he is metaphorically and intellectually lynched by regular and irregular commenters from many different angles, backgrounds and positions — from Muslims, non Muslims, feminists, secularists, whatever. Can you say the same about racists and Paki bashers post in the comments section of Hairy’s Place? If you feel you can, say so. I’m not sure.

    By the way, Sid seems to have hit a raw nerve.

  22. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:52 pm  

    Ok — maybe ‘lynched’ was the wrong phrase to describe what happens to them, a closer description would be a fulsome de-bagging, stripping naked of their intellectual decrepitude and prejudices, tarring and feathering, all from many different angles. The Common Humanist’s attempt to claim that fly-by Islamists are a regular feature of PP is a travesty — Islamists are spontaneously discredited every time they appear from many different angles and vantage points.

    Do Paki bashers and racists meet the same response at Harry’s Place? I can remeber tuning into a discussion of how black people are genetically and intellectually inferior there, as well as many niggling little Paki bashing snidery in the comments box. But hey, maybe I’m wrong, please correct me.

  23. Refresh — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    Humanist, its always useful to know whether a commenter has been through the Harry’s Place spin cycle. Where facts are squeezed out of the most innocuous of things, comments, accidents of birth, faith, existence, whatever it is they can find an angle – to fit around the policy.

    A bit like the Downing Street Memo*.

  24. Refresh — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

    *gnomish comment for Jagdeep’s delectation.

  25. Jai — on 24th May, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

    The “snideness” towards Asians is something I’ve noticed in recent years in real life too. You meet people who will become very threatened indeed by any Asians who they perceived to be advantaged over them in some way (physically/financially/educationally etc), and when confronted about their bigotry they just fall silent but smirk slyly to themselves (or to others in the vicinity).

    What the hell is their problem ? Since when did we become the de facto targets for these people’s insecurities and inferiority complexes ?

    They desperately need someone to feel superior to, and so they attempt to compensate for their internal feelings of worthlessness by targetting us instead ?

  26. ally — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:09 pm  

    Hmmmm. At the risk of setting myself up for a battering, I’m not sure I agree with the bulk of comments here.

    OK, it was probably stupid of C4/Endemol to keep schtum about these limericks and the official warnings until now. That doesn’t make them look good. But it does show quite clearly that BB were trying hard to stamp out any hints of racism at the first opportunity, as opposed to stirring it up, which has been widely alleged.

    And I’m not sure that the transcripts themselves make any of the contestants involved look any worse than they already did.

    It all looks to me like a schoolchild game:

    “Go on, say a naughty word!”
    “Shan’t”
    “Dare ya”
    “Double dare ya”
    “Shan’t”
    “Tee hee hee”

    etc etc etc.

    There’s no suggestion that any of the contestants actually think it’s acceptable to call someone a ‘Paki.’ Quite the reverse, they all know it is utterly beyond the pale and actually AVOIDED using that or any other racial epithets, (albeit while egging each other on.)

    I suppose you could argue that they were all obviously thinking the ‘P’ word, and maybe they were, but I’m not really a fan of punishing people for thought crimes.

    My own (totally arbitrary) conclusions about CBB were that Shilpa was a snooty cow who got up everyone else’s nose. Danielle, Jo, Jack and (to a lesser extent) Jade were loathsome, stupid people who formed a nasty clique to gang up on the one they didn’t like. But they didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of a hysterical media witch-hunt.

    Most importantly, the papers who were having such fun hounding D,J,J&J are guilty of far more dangerous and offensive racism on a daily basis.

    Nothing I’ve seen in the judgement today or the transcripts that have come out today alter that view one iota.

    But to hold this sorry saga up as an allegory of racist Britain, or ‘white trash’ or chav culture or anything else is just plain wrong. We all know that the conversations that happened in the BB house would not raise an eyebrow in any pub in the land. It was very, very insignificant. If I thought that the attitudes shown on BB were the worst we have to deal with I’d be very relieved.

  27. Jai — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:11 pm  

    =>”We all know that the conversations that happened in the BB house would not raise an eyebrow in any pub in the land.”

    Perhaps that’s part of the problem, my friend.

  28. Jai — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:17 pm  

    =>”It was very, very insignificant.”

    It sure as hell is not insignificant to those of us who have had to sporadically (or, in the worst cases, continuously) deal with exactly that kind of bigotry our whole lives, and have seen our parents face that for decades too.

    Again, that’s part of the problem. When people think such behaviour, and the attitdues behind it, is “insignificant”.

    And as for Shilpa Shetty being a “snooty cow”, in Indian terms she’s the equivalent of Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bullock. Plus she was already a multi-millionaire before she went in the house. How the hell do you expect such a person to behave ? If Ms Diaz or Ms Bullock had been in the house, and their personalities would no doubt have reflected their success and lifestyles, would you still call them “snooty cows” ? Would you expect Jade, Jo etc to have reacted as negatively towards them as they did towards Shilpa ?

    I expect not. This is the fundamental problem when people reduce others to “just a Paki”. (Ally, I’m not saying you’re doing this, but people like Jo, and those that make excuses for their behaviour, sure as hell are).

  29. ally — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    Actually Jai, I think that’s the whole problem.

    The word ‘scapegoat’ springs to mind. A few dim sadsacks being made to carry the blame for a whole society’s failings.

    That’s not to say that the failings aren’t serious or manifold, they are. But I’m not really a fan of projecting all our anger onto a few unfortunate patsies, however deserving they may be.

  30. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    We all know that the conversations that happened in the BB house would not raise an eyebrow in any pub in the land

    Ain’t that a scary thing!

  31. Leon — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:21 pm  

    We all know that the conversations that happened in the BB house would not raise an eyebrow in any pub in the land

    Maybe down in deepest darkest Bermondesy but up here in North London we’re a bit more normal.

  32. contrarymary — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:23 pm  

    I’m with Jagdeep’s first comment (post 1) and Jai (post 11). Channel 4′s been caught red-handed holding back examples of racism, to try and up ratings. Big Brother does not work unless the media (TV, celeb mags, radio, papers) feeds into it. This was a callous and manipulative as it gets
    Ofcom should hit channel 4 hard, to make sure they don’t do it again, ever. but the reality is Channel 4′s probably loving this, because BB8 starts in six days. Perfect timing!

  33. ally — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:28 pm  

    Erm, on your second response Jai, I absolutely reject the notion that because Shilpa is/was a millionaire, wildly successful film star she is entitled to be patronising, aloof, rude and – sorry, but it’s the best word – snooty. I don’t give a damn who she is. I would treat Jade and Jack with just as much respect as I would accord to Shilpa Shetty or Cameron Diaz, and I would expect the exact same back from them.

    I don’t think it’s any more acceptable for a wealthy, upper-class person to look down their nose at someone for being lower class than it is for a white person to look down their noses at a non-white person. Do you?

    Finally, I take your point totally about how offensive it is to hear an Asian person being called a Paki, and when you’ve been on the receiving end of it yourself I appreciate that it must sting many times worse.

    But that doesn’t alter the fact that they DIDN’T call Shilpa or anyone else a Paki. They played a silly (and yes, offensive) game, which skirted around the word instead.

    It makes them look like ignorant, stupid kids. It could at worst be seen as evidence of racist attitudes. But I don’t think that’s the same thing as showing overt racism and I don’t think it should be treated as such.

  34. soru — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:30 pm  

    Harry’s Place is sadly in need of this.

    Or, in detail,
    http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/008856.html#008856

    You can let one jeering, unpleasant jerk hang around for a while, but the minute you get two or more of them egging each other on, they both have to go, and all their recent messages with them. There are others like them prowling the net, looking for just that kind of situation. More of them will turn up, and they’ll encourage each other to behave more and more outrageously. Kill them quickly and have no regrets.

    It’s not quite as bad as CiF, but still the schizophrenics outnumber the normal people in much the same way the zombies do in 28 days later.

  35. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

    Thanks Soru.

  36. ally — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

    Sorry Jai, one more thing I forgot to say above…

    “If Ms Diaz or Ms Bullock had been in the house, and their personalities would no doubt have reflected their success and lifestyles, would you still call them “snooty cows” ?”

    Actually for me this goes to the very heart of the issue. My answer is yes, I believe 100%, absolutely from the bottom of my heart, that if Cameron Diaz or Sandra Bullock had been in the house and behaved towards the infamous four in the exact same manner as Shilpa did, then the reaction from Jade et al would have been absolutely identical.

    I really don’t think they hated her because of her race. They hated her because she looked at them like something she’d scraped off the bottom of her shoe.

  37. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:37 pm  

    ally, I can’t be arsed to go into this again, but Shilpa didnt act snooty or look down her nose at anyone in the house — that’s the whole point, no matter what caused their antipathy to her, most probably being threatened by her looks and elegance, their default response was to make snide Paki limericks and all the rest of it. That’s what it’s all about.

  38. ally — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:40 pm  

    Jagdeep, that’s where we’ll have to differ.

    If an upper class millionaire told me to go ‘back to the gutter where I came from’ the response would make Jade Goody look like a paragon of restraint.

  39. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:41 pm  

    It’s a shame the Tim O’Reilly and Jimmy Wales initiative didn’t see the light of day. But I think it will with more transparent blogging initiatives that will be part of Web 2.0

    I think HP don’t have moderation because having a comments box full of wankers discharging putrid and casuall racism make the writers look, erm, sensible and progressive.

  40. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:51 pm  

    ally, Shilpa never said any of those things to anybody. You’re welcome to say what you like about anyone who in your imagination calls you what you dont like, and like a tough guy boasts about how he’d show no restraint. Shilpa didnt do anything wrong, and a bunch of petty little bigots did their thing as their defualt response to nothing in particular, hallucinating as they were. I can’t be arsed to discuss it with apologists for their behaviour and attitude — you’re welcome to it, go to your pub and chat like it.

  41. Jai — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:51 pm  

    =>”The word ’scapegoat’ springs to mind. A few dim sadsacks being made to carry the blame for a whole society’s failings.”

    No, but their behaviour is widespread and very familiar to most Asians in this country. They shouldn’t be made scapegoats, but this kind of behaviour — and those that perpetrate it — SHOULD be unequivocally condemned. No excuses, no “mitigating factors”. Nail this behaviour wherever and whenever it occurs. Even I had to deal with a colleague deciding I was the (male) “Shilpa” of our team while the whole CBB controversy was going on, actually whispering that name to me, and openly deciding to emulate the let’s-gang-up-on-the-paki behaviour of Jade & Co just because I was a) far more educated than him, b) much more articulate and well-spoken than him, c) much younger than him, and d) in a relative position of authority compared to him. This nonsense spills over into real life unless it’s stamped on.

    =>”she is entitled to be patronising, aloof, rude and – sorry, but it’s the best word – snooty.”

    There was nothing aloof about her behaviour at all, in fact she went out of her way to join in with the rest of them until they decided to make her the target on which to project all of their insecurities. In fact, considering exactly how huge a star she is from the perspective of Indian society and most Asians who are familiar with Bollywood, I was surprised at exactly how much effort she made to be friendly to the rest of the housemates.

    Just because someone does not want to get wildly drunk on national television, or use profanity, or talk about their sexual exploits, it does not make them
    stuck-up.

    =>”It could at worst be seen as evidence of racist attitudes. But I don’t think that’s the same thing as showing overt racism and I don’t think it should be treated as such.”

    Their entire attitude towards Shilpa was “overt racism” from start to finish, for God’s sake. You’re still making excuses for them.

    =>”My answer is yes, I believe 100%, absolutely from the bottom of my heart, that if Cameron Diaz or Sandra Bullock had been in the house and behaved towards the infamous four in the exact same manner as Shilpa did, then the reaction from Jade et al would have been absolutely identical.”

    Then we’ll have to respectfully agree to disagree. I’m afraid I think you’re either well-meaning-but-naive or being disingenuous.

    =>”They hated her because she looked at them like something she’d scraped off the bottom of her shoe.”

    She only reacted to them like that after all the harassment started.

  42. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:57 pm  

    Oh how boring having this freakin’ discussion over again. I was hoping The Common Humanist would respond to the earlier points that looked like it could have been fun.

  43. Refresh — on 24th May, 2007 at 5:58 pm  

    Shilpa was snooty and she was obviously dumbstruck by what had happened to the house with the arrival of Jade et al. And it showed. Esp. in her dealings with Jackey.

    I had actually wanted Jade to win, until they allowed their racist and bullying attitudes to prevail.

    Jagdeep actually captures it (intentionally or not) with this “their default response was to make snide Paki limericks and all the rest of it.”

    I, like you, don’t accept Shilpa should have been treated any different to anyone else. Either we are egalitarian or we are not.

    But for anyone who may feel slighted or feel looked down on to respond with bullying based on racism is disgraceful behaviour.

    For all those Asians watching – it raised the fear that perhaps things had not really changed much from the daily taunts of their school days.

    In summary, had this not taken the turn it did, I would have been delighted for Jade to have won.

    It certainly wouldn’t have given the audience the delightful experience of seeing someone (in this case it was Shilpa) handle a very distressing experience with such class.

    The real winner in the end was the Great British public for their innate fairmindedness.

  44. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

    ‘But hey, maybe I’m wrong, please correct me.’

    Yes Jagdeep…i’ve yet to see any evidence of your intellectual side.

    By the way…remember…’the debate is there to be won’

  45. ally — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:04 pm  

    I think respectfully agreeing to disagree is probably for the best, guys.

    But can I politely point out that I am not accusing either of you of being ‘dangerously naive’ when it comes to class snobbery. I am not accusing either of you of being ‘apologists’ for class snobbery. and I am not accusing you of being ‘disingenuous.’

    Nor will I try to pull the line ‘if you’d been sneered at and laughed at by public school snobs all your life then you might be a bit more sensitive to it in others…’

    I accept that you call Shilpa’s behaviour as you saw it, and that you call Jade & Co’s behaviour as you saw it.

    Maybe you could afford the same respect to me and acknowledge that this isn’t all as clear cut as it is being portrayed?

  46. ally — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:06 pm  

    Refresh – actually that is pretty close to my overall impression of the saga too, thank you. I take your points.

  47. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:08 pm  

    Yes Jagdeep…i’ve yet to see any evidence of your intellectual side.

    I’ve seen lots of Jagdeep’s intellectual side. A little bit unfair of someone who’s only been here less than a week and trapped in exam hell, no?

  48. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:19 pm  

    Well Sid…i can only comment upon what i have seen – and i have seen plenty of comments from all the ‘regulars’ – and this is my conclusion thus far.

    I remain to be convinced.

    By the way…the exam hell will almost be over!

  49. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:21 pm  

    Then stick around Saqib; I think you’ll find he’ll give you a run for your money, mano-et mano.

  50. Jai — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:22 pm  

    =>Maybe you could afford the same respect to me and acknowledge that this isn’t all as clear cut as it is being portrayed?”

    It’s exactly as it is being portrayed. Shilpa went out of her way to be friendly towards Jade & Co until their bigotry got the better of them.

    In fact, Cleo Rocos behaved as “upper class” as Shilpa did — even more so, I think. Yet she didn’t end up as the target. I wonder why.

    Again, all depressingly familiar to very many of us. Some white people in this country are fine with the notion of other white people — both English and non-English — being more poised, well-spoken, educated etc than they are…..But if it’s an Asian person, it strikes a raw nerve.

    Bottom line is, they do not want to feel inferior towards or threatened in any way by ANY Asian person, because it undermines their own notions of their own inherent superiority towards Asians in general.

  51. Kulvinder — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:24 pm  

    We all know that the conversations that happened in the BB house would not raise an eyebrow in any pub in the land.

    We do?

  52. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:29 pm  

    Sid

    Let’s hope so…i’m still not convinced.

  53. ZinZin — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:29 pm  

    Jagdeep Re Siqab

    Fisk him gently.

  54. Kulvinder — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:30 pm  

    nb i couldn’t care less about a television programme or those who are offended because they think someone was ‘snooty’ as opposed to ‘racist’. But i don’t sit round a pub table and make limericks about the word nigger or faggot.

    CBB was essentially about fame, Shilpa’s fans were more vociferous in their support than the fans of Jade or Jo or whomever. The ‘abuse’ wasn’t demonstrably worse than any other BB (granted this is based on watching edited material on a show i wasn’t a regular viewer of) but it was towards someone who had more ‘support’

  55. ZinZin — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:31 pm  

    The thing that amazes me is that so many of you watched CBB.

  56. Kulvinder — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:33 pm  

    The real winner in the end was the Great British public for their innate fairmindedness.

    hahahaha

  57. Refresh — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:40 pm  

    Kulvinder – I am now amused too. Do you want to elaborate on your mirth?

    Saves me guessing.

  58. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 6:57 pm  

    “Jagdeep Re Siqab

    Fisk him gently.”

    Sorry zinzin…was that meant to be some vague reference to me?

  59. Kulvinder — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:00 pm  

    The people who voted for Shilpa would in all probability have voted for Shilpa anyway. It wasn’t indicative of anything. If the great british public have been reduced to ‘judging’ fair mindedness from 30mins of edited highlights of the past 24 hrs we may as well blow the entire country up. Shilpa would have won. It was inevitable. The reason so many people complained to OFCOM about the way she was treated wasn’t because it was worse than anything that had happened previously but because it happened to her. To those who are unfamiliar with bollywood it was literally a (misrepresented) case of ‘Shilpa who?’. But that didn’t negate the fact she not only had more fans than the others, she had more fans willing to part with their money.

    It was never to do with fairness it was all about who could get most people voting for them. For the sake of argument if there was a substantial (ie >1000000) vietnamese population in britain and a vietnamese pop/movie star went on CBB with an assortment of page3 girls he would win despite the rest of britain not having a clue who he was. Shilpa was more famous so she won. The fact she wasn’t as famous in britain was besides the point.

    If the great british public had been shown edited highlights of Shilpa only being ‘snobby’ and no ‘racism’. Shilpa would still have won.

  60. Kulvinder — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:06 pm  

    Essentially the entire row is besides the point. I have never seen a single BB or CBB that was truly indicative of britain. The characters they have are outtliers rather than the norm – thats why they’re chosen they’re lunatics.

    The great british public has never been fairminded when others have been treated harshly inside the ‘house’ because the great british public didn’t care about them. That audience-participant relationship changes when the audience knows the person involved.

  61. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:06 pm  

    Yes Jagdeep…i’ve yet to see any evidence of your intellectual side.

    Cheese and Onion Crisps of the world need exceptional conceptual frameworks!

  62. ZinZin — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:07 pm  

    Saqib you have been here for how long? and you are abusing a regular? No wonder you are having trouble with your exams.

    For the record I apologise for spelling your name incorrectly. My bad.

  63. Kulvinder — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:09 pm  

    Basically channel 4 and Endemol mismeasured the ‘fame’ Shilpa Shetty had. Just because someone is unknown to you doesn’t mean they’re unknown.

  64. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:12 pm  

    I wonder if they’ll have any Asians on the new series.

  65. ZinZin — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:15 pm  

    My Asian wife is in the new series

  66. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:16 pm  

    That’s become a catchphrase around here.

  67. Kulvinder — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:16 pm  

    [quote]I wonder if they’ll have any Asians on the new series.[/quote]

    TBH if they had half a brain cell they’ll realise theres a huge revenue-stream in all this. The ‘celebrities’ in Asia (China, India etc) have far more fanatical supporters than even the biggest hollywood stars. Take a Chinese celebrity put them in a house with some American Z-listers, broadcast the programme to china and america (ie you can pay and vote in either country) and make a fortune.

    If you really want to profit have a global CBB.

  68. Muhamad — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:25 pm  

    I’m with the McPherson Report on what the report describes as “unwitting racism.” Furthermore, it talks about the perception of those at the receiving end of racism, i.e., if I as a member of a ethnic minority think someone to be interacting with me in a racist way, then, that’s racism, regardless of what any majoritarian apologist might say.

    I don’t want to go into Ms. Shetty’s country with its vile casteism.

    Thanks.

  69. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:43 pm  

    ‘Saqib you have been here for how long? and you are abusing a regular? No wonder you are having trouble with your exams.

    For the record I apologise for spelling your name incorrectly. My bad.’

    No need to apologise mate. However…

    zinzin man…it’s not abuse I’m hurling…just some light-hearted banter. You’re beginning to sound like a Muslim yourself now…accusing other people of hurling abuse, claiming victimisation; wanting special treatment…look when in Rome…

    I was struggling with my exams as I got bored…so I thought I would try my hand at blogging for a while. Mind you, I’m still struggling now…opps…better get revising again…exam is tomorrow morning.

    Jagdeep,

    By the way…I don’t like cheese and onion crisps…they tend to leave a nasty smell in the mouth…perhaps you may experience this.

    Come to think of it, your comments are a bit like cheese and onion crisps…they taste quite good for a bit, maybe fill your hunger for a while, but ultimately their dietary value is negligible…with the remains ultimately going down the gutter!

    Hey Jags…

    Remember ‘THE DEBATE IS THERE TO BE WON’

  70. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 7:53 pm  

    I give in Saqib.

    You win the debate!

    About the provenance and need for Diet Tango Unity and an exceptional conceptual framework for Diet Tango to succeed in a world of Pepsi Max and Coke One.

  71. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 8:16 pm  

    Oh No Jagdeep, No No

    I am truly bowled over… ala like a Monty Panesar Top-Spinner hitting the ‘top of off’. Bowled over with your magnanimity, bowled over by your…your indefatigability…bowled over by your humility….

    You Sir are the true champion of the people, not Jon Guant – oh no, not Richard Littlejohn, oh no, but you Sir…like Monty Panesar a man who performs when required…I, on the other hand am like Saj Mahmood…with my radar going awol when the going gets tough. No no…you win hands down.

    Speaking about Unity…on August bank holiday weekend we have the ‘Global Peace and Unity Event’ down at the ExCel, East London. 50,000 people attended last time over the weekend.

    Can’t promise you Cheese and Onion crisps there though I’m afraid…though you may get a tango…the drink that is. And guess what…

    ‘THE DEBATE IS THERE TO BE WON’

  72. justforfun — on 24th May, 2007 at 9:36 pm  

    Can someone please tell me what opinion I ought to have – for the life of me I can’t understand what the transcript means or what this this DEBATE Saquib is going on about. I’ll pay using Paypal if required. I just know I will not be able to sleep unless I have an opinion on the matter – any opinion will do. But bare in mind my wife is not Asian , if that should effect what opinion I need.

    Justforfun

  73. sid — on 24th May, 2007 at 9:41 pm  

    My Asian wife and I also don’t know what the feck this debate is Saqib keeps going on about.

  74. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 10:12 pm  

    Well…at least you now can understand how the rest of us feel with all this ‘my asian wife’business…

    This is a debate which Jags claims he’s won, is too ridiculous to comment upon, and one which i never actually even alluded to…puzzling yeh…same here. If you really want to go to this thread

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1151

  75. OWMMS — on 24th May, 2007 at 10:21 pm  

    oooh did someone mention Big Brother?

    Aaah – maybe not.

  76. sonia — on 24th May, 2007 at 10:41 pm  

    ally makes some good points. scapegoats do come to mind. and it’s hardly as if ALL asians have been harassed – loads of kids get harassed in school – bullying isn’t restricted to any one particular culture and in one specific direction. i understand people are hurting so they only focus on their own pain but..

  77. rachi — on 24th May, 2007 at 11:04 pm  

    Great comments Ally. A sane voice of reason on this here at PP – at last.

    The obsession with this is beyond parody both in the media and here on PP. Please guys – get a grip. Everyone has suffered from bullying at some point. It is especially prevalent in issues of jealousy where one person feels someone else is superior or acting superior. Between women it gets especially personal and especially picked up on – add to this a lack of education and you get this.

    Move on.

  78. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 11:21 pm  

    Saqib, will you be doing stand up comedy at the Bank Holiday Cheese and Onion Crisp Unity Conceptual Framework conference?

  79. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 11:21 pm  

    A sane voice of reason on this here at PP – at last.

    hahaha

  80. Saqib — on 24th May, 2007 at 11:42 pm  

    Actually I’ll be going one better…

    I have a sitcom lined up, it will involve a self-styled defender of ‘secular liberal democracy’ who can’t deign himself by engaging with anyone who even remotely disagrees with him, on the premise that there views are non-worthy for his intellectual prowess.

    And do you know what…it turns out its all a big con…because his intellectual capacity is acually very Bushesque – hence the need for a ‘one size fits all strategy for the world’ he he can’t engage with complexities.

    And the best part…he gets pelted with Onions…not crisps…but real onions…before being doused in coca cola.

    All this when, in fact…

    ‘THE DEBATE IS THERE TO WON’

  81. Nyrone — on 24th May, 2007 at 11:46 pm  

    for godsake! Kismet!
    Where are you when we need you?

  82. Jagdeep — on 24th May, 2007 at 11:52 pm  

    Saqib — it sounds great! Send it in to the BBC. You could be the new Ricky Gervais.

    But remember!

    PRAWN COCKTAIL CRISPS NEED A FRAMEWORK AND CAN BE WON

  83. Saqib — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:09 am  

    No No…I will get it screened on Cinema first, hold a premiere and introduce the main actor to the world who gets pelted with onions and doused in coca cola. Mr Bean move over.

    I have a great business venture for you actually, now that you have included prawn cocktail in your range… why don’t you open up a corner shop selling all these wonderful crisps and drinks to school children…the added value… you could actually hold a profound dialogue with a group who are at an appropriate level.

  84. ZinZin — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:35 am  

    Saqib
    You need an Asian wife.

  85. Saqib — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:37 am  

    I need a wife full stop mate!

  86. Sunny — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:38 am  

    Oh for god’s sake,.

    Firstly, I don’t know why in so many discussions there is a need to reference how the audience at HP responded. The HP posters are different to the commenters and yes they get their share of crazed nutters which takes conversation in a different direction. But they don’t ban them and I do, which makes conversation here a lot more controlled. And no, I’ve never seen the HP writers to be racist and I don’t know why people keep mentioning them when the thread has nothing to do with it.

    Secondly, there’s far too much sarcasm here too these days about comments… which really annoys me. This isn’t really a clique folks… let’s try and discuss things in a nice way. Otherwise it just drives out newbies and I don’t want that. This is a problem at HP too, people say something slightly different and a regular commenter can’t wait to fire off a sarcastic remark. There’s no need for it.

    —-

    GOING BACK TO THE TOPIC…

    What annoys me about this whole incident isn’t the behaviour of those three women… but rather than Channel 4 behaved so disingenuously and lied several times about the content. BAsically, this transcript was hidden and a lot of footage regarding racial slurs was hidden. Without the Ofcom report it would have never come to light and the C4 executives kept saying that nothing racist actually happened.

    It’s the point that they lied and then they kept trying to maintain that lie which annoys me. I’m writing an article about this tonght for the Guardian. I want to see some heads rolling at C4.

  87. Rumbold — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:44 am  

    “This isn’t really a clique folks… let’s try and discuss things in a nice way. Otherwise it just drives out newbies and I don’t want that.”

    Good point.

  88. Saqib — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:00 am  

    Sunny,

    That is so true…the thing that attracted me to this blog was the discussions that were taking place and how people were able to bring to the table alternative viewpoints with a view to taking things forward.

    I guess i am still a ‘newbies’ however i feel like a regular, and i probably did get carried away. I’ll go back to being productive. However I am concerned about the ‘gay’ comment, for i have never pretended to be a man without any prejudice…that’s why i try and debate and be receptive…if others set themselves up as absolute guardians of all virtue to bash everyone over the head when they speak, and then fall foul themselves, then that should be acknowledged, afterwards we ALL learn, kiss and make up and then move on. But acknowledgement is important.

  89. sid — on 25th May, 2007 at 9:08 am  

    sorry Sunny, I hate to sound like a broken record. :-)

  90. Jai — on 25th May, 2007 at 9:43 am  

    Sunny,

    =>”but rather than Channel 4 behaved so disingenuously and lied several times about the content…..Without the Ofcom report it would have never come to light and the C4 executives kept saying that nothing racist actually happened…..It’s the point that they lied and then they kept trying to maintain that lie which annoys me.”

    Obfuscation and cover-ups by management when it comes to racially-motivated bullying/harassment isn’t uncommon in this country. I’ve seen this in the workplace too, especially when the bullying’s being perpetrated by one of the “good ol’ boys, not meaning any harm” (to use some American slang).

    But amongst other things, what really irritated me about the behaviour of those women on CBB was the fact that the following are also common reactions by some English people when in the presence of their friends engaging in racist behaviour:

    1) Complete silence, despite knowing that their intervention is urgently required.
    2) Sniggering away, as mentioned before.
    3) Making excuses for their friend and denying their racism, despite the fact that the bigotry is blindingly obvious (especially if it’s occurred repeatedly).
    4) Finding excuses to blame the target for “triggering” the racist response.
    5) Laughing when the target, thinking they’re friends, asks them for help.

    All horribly familiar.

    In recent years, people in this country have made a huge deal about the need for Muslims to identify and condemn fellow Muslims in their familial/social circles who may support Islamic extremism. I agree wholeheartedly with this point. However, perhaps people should also look in the mirror and acknowledge the need to identify and condemn the white-collar racist who sits next to them at work, who takes them to the pub every Friday lunchtime, and with whom they play golf during the weekends.

  91. Leon — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:03 am  

    What annoys me about this whole incident isn’t the behaviour of those three women… but rather than Channel 4 behaved so disingenuously and lied several times about the content. BAsically, this transcript was hidden and a lot of footage regarding racial slurs was hidden. Without the Ofcom report it would have never come to light and the C4 executives kept saying that nothing racist actually happened.

    It’s the point that they lied and then they kept trying to maintain that lie which annoys me. I’m writing an article about this tonght for the Guardian. I want to see some heads rolling at C4.

    Well said.

  92. Zak — on 28th May, 2007 at 1:44 pm  

    Sunny good luck with that, I doubt if any heads will roll though..

  93. sakthi — on 1st June, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    I’m not sure that whether Jade deliberately done that,but somehow all the scenes created in Big Brother gives lots of fan followings and attention to Shilpa (Before this show she was in the last stage of her acting career,but now she got big re-entry..
    AA Breakdown Cover

  94. Le — on 3rd June, 2007 at 11:13 am  

    I defy anyone who claims that Shilpa was not subjected to any kind of racism. Jade and co using limerick and all other comments directed at Shilpa without using the ‘P’ word is seen as socially acceptable, why is that? The meaning behind it is the same, so technically, it is racist. Jo’s comments in the diary room trying to justify that she is not racist is an example of the level of fear that surrounds the word ‘racism’. Perhaps (with a capital P)she would have been more ‘respected’ if she admitted that she was being racist at the time. Her excuse for not being racist is because she didn’t say the ‘P’ word.. Yet she failed to understand and accept, but more importantly, respect the differences in culture between her and Shilpa. What’s worse is that she’s probably intelligent enough to respect and understand, but her choice was to remain ignorant.

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