THE ANTICS of contestants in the UK version of Endemol TV reality show, Celebrity Big Brother have been making headlines worldwide for all the wrong reasons.
Caused by a series of allegedly racist comments levelled at Bollywood film star Shilpa Shetty by a group of fellow female contestants, the furore led to furious mobs spilling out onto the streets of India burning effigies representing main culprit, Jade Goody and Channel 4 top brass.
Close to 40,000 complaints were received by UK TV complaints commission OFCOM and Prime Minister Tony Blair was forced to comment on the row.
Former Big Brother contestant, Jade, has been at the centre of the race hate allegations. The reality star sought revenge with her mother Jackiey Budden, glamour model Danielle Lloyd and former S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara, making deeply unpleasant racial slurs on the actress.
Jackiey Budden refused to call Shilpa by her proper name, referring to her among housemates as “The Indian”, while Jade began calling her “Shilpa Poppadom”. Danielle said Shilpa “can’t speak English properly anyway”, while Jo O’Meara made comments about Indians being thin due to undercooking their food and making themselves ill.
Jade was evicted from the Big Brother house on Friday by a landslide public vote.
Jade has publicly apologised for her behaviour, but denies she is a racist. Channel 4’s chairman, Luke Johnson made the following statement: “We take the views of our audience very seriously and profoundly regret any offence that may have been caused.”
Johnson said Celebrity Big Brother would remain on air until its completion this weekend.
At the time of going to press, however, it seemed that the station had not learned any lessons from the high profile race row caused by the show.
It now faces faces fresh fury after a teenager aired racist views on a new reality show.
Shipwrecked star Lucy Buchanan, 18, said black people were “really bad”, fat people were “disgusting” and criticised gays.
The public schoolgirl told fellow contestants: “I’m for the British Empire and things. I’m for slavery.”
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]