Prime Minister in-waiting makes a statement on whom people should evict from Big Brother. ”A vote for Shilpa is a vote for Britain”, Gordon Brown declares on his visit to a Bollywood studio in India. The Guardian writes five articles in one issue over the programme. Indian demonstrators burn pictures of one the participants of the British Celebrity Big Brother. Big Brother is discussed simultaneously on BBC1 and BBC2. Channel 4 loses a 3 million pound sponsorship. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell gets questions on the show in House of Commons. ”Jade Goody has run the United Kingdom into an international crisis”, says Big Brother host Davina McCall.
Are you thinking the same as I am: has this country gone totally mad or don’t they just have any real problems?
The Big Brother drama escalated this week when three of the participants (Goody as the leader of the pack) were persistently bullying the Indian film star who was in the house. Most of the viewers were disgusted when Goody said that she does not want to eat the food Shilpa cooked because she doesn’t know where her hands have been. Goody’s mother renamed Shilpa Shetty Princess because she found her name too difficult to pronounce. The issue started getting more and more attention as it was seen as an alarming example of pure racism.
On first thought I found this a typical example of overdeveloped British political correctness. ”It was just one comment”, I ironically stated. But my opinion changed yesterday.
I met a British friend of mine for a drink in Soho. Her parents moved from Bangladesh to the UK before her birth. She is an award-winning playwright and has done several scripts on issues that could maybe be defined as multicultural. As we were sipping our white wine, she mentioned that her two children have been watching the show with full attention and been very upset. She was quite calm on the issue but sighed:”All of us have had those comments for instance of our names being two difficult to pronounce.”
Her comment made me ponder. As she pointed out, the people who have been in the media asking people to calm down have been with without exception Caucasian. In that sense it was not just one simple comment by a non-educated young woman. It was an example of something far bigger. The difficulty was also shown when white editors of quality newspapers put all the blame on Jade Goody’s working class background. ”Maybe she should have invested some of her 8 million pounds on education instead of a boob job”, The Guardian snobbishly stated of the woman who has made a fortune with a fragrance and a diet programme.
For me the Big Brother fuss showed how we still have a lot to do before cultural diversity actually comes a non-issue. We still have a lot to do when non-Europeans need to change their names so that they would be ”pronouncable” for Europeans or when stating one’s nationality is followed with a remark:”But I mean really, where do you COME FROM?”
P.S. Someone should have told Brown that on Big Brother you actually vote for the person you wish to evict. But then again, he is the same guy who said that he listens to Arctic Monkeys every morning but could not name one single song on a radio interview. Hip to be square.
Hurraa! Robotit vievät työmme
17 hours ago