Let me start by saying I’m not a fan of Jade Goody and the trio of chavs on Celebrity Big Brother picking on Shilpa Shetty. At the least they are bullies and at the most a bunch of ignorant and racist dimwits. Big deal.
If anything I have more reason to be aggrieved than most given that when I was young and came to this country most people also mimicked my Indian accent. Except it was mostly other Indians who did this, not white or black people. Have many of you already forgotten the British Asian attitude towards ‘freshies’? I had to work hard to dumb down my English and change my accent to fit in.
Anyway, that hypocrisy aside I believe there are other reasons why this farce is being blown out of proportion.
1) Jade Goody is consumed as a celebrity because she is a spectacle and provides entertainment, not because people look up to her (to what talent exactly?) or because she has any redeeming features. So I instantly reject the first argument that because she is a faux-celebrity, somehow her behaviour will be emulated by millions of people. Remember the hugely popular BB winner Nadia the transexual? I didn’t see people rushing out to emulate her lifestyle afterwards. Remember the guy with the tourette’s syndrome who won last year? Tourette’s hasn’t suddenly become the “in-thing”.
This farcical idea that if people emulate anything and anyone they see on TV is getting tired now, especially when it applies to racism. People have instead seen the bullying and bitching by the trio and been repelled by their actions. They have been condemned by pretty much everyone. I think it’s safe to say that people will see it as an example of behaviour not to emulate.
2) Shilpa Shetty has survived far bigger bitch-wars in Mumbai, even if you don’t follow Bollywood. She is also an actress who knows that crying on television, which she has to do every film, instantly brings you sympathy. Put two and two together people! Don’t think there isn’t an element of acting here. She has been paid over a £100 grand to star in the show. I think she can handle this.
3) CBB is entertainment and people should see it as that, not a narrative on modern Britain for fuck’s sake. Channel 4 has deliberately picked loud-mouthed people who are willing to play bitchy just to attract attention. It has then put them under stress, denied them food, keeps them under constant supervision and makes them do idiotic tasks. Its producers constantly manipulate contestants and put them in tricky situations so that arguments will break out. That is their job and I have spoken to reality tv exec producers who admit all this. THIS IS NOT REALITY! It’s a spectacle. Get over it already.
4) Jack did not call her a “Paki”, he called her a “cunt”.
5) A wise person once said – let the person who has not sinned cast the first stone. Similarly, let the Asians who are not racist against other races or xenophobic against other religions complain. I know their numbers aren’t that large.
6) If there is someone to blame, it is Channel 4 for creating this spectacle, for viewers to continue watching it, and for Carphone Warehouse to continue sponsoring it. And I blame Keith Vaz for tabling the EDM and making it into a bigger piece of farce.
I will continue adding more points as they come to me.
Erm, I’ll be on BBC 4 (TV) and BBC Worldwide tonight at 8pm and on Asian Network (radio) tomorrow 9am saying the same.
If anyone wants effigies of me to burn let me know and I’ll be happy to oblige.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Media,Race politics