Tag Archives: Jade Goody

Beauty and the Beasts – Big Brother again I’m afraid

Hopefully this will be my last post on the Big Brother Bullying thing. I saw very little of the actual programme, but thanks to YouTube I’ve seen gory snippets and the eviction interviews.


In her exit interview, Shilpa struck me as being prudent, diplomatic and politic. She had no idea what the British public thought of the bullying, no idea how supportive it was of its local stars. Sure, she’d won, but at that point of course she had not seen the whispering that went on behind her back, so she did not know just how unpleasant Danielle, Jo and Jade had been about her. This is not to say that she was not telling the truth in her interview, but I doubt that she was telling the whole truth. She struck me as someone who was behaving with extreme caution based on very few cues. I find her grace, self-possession and poise to be admirable.


By far the most illuminating thing Jade said in any of the three interviews I found on YouTube was “I don’t know any (no?) other way to fight”. The only way she knows to express disagreement is by screaming foul-mouthed abuse. I find that both shocking and plausible. It makes me feel sorry for her, but crucially I am sorry for her for different reasons than she is sorry for herself. If she does want to grow up then her starting place is right there. It depends on whether her “advisers” have the maturity themselves to hear what she said in that interview, and find appropriate professionals to help her. (I did find myself wondering just how badly she had pissed her agent off, to make him or her recommend Celebrity Big Brother to her. You can see the stitch marks all over this).

One other thing which was interesting though was she said that she had no idea that she was a leader. She said that she could see it in the videos, but she had not seen it in herself. It is just possible that in the right hands that could be used as the positive point to start building some self-respect and adult responsibility.

You see, Jade reminds me of a three-year-old, in particular in her interview with an obviously uncomfortable Dermot O’Leary and in an interview with an invisible News of the World interviewer. She kept on wailing how sorry she was, but her subtext appeared to be “I’m sorry, please like me, I’m sorry, please like me, I’m sorry, please like me.” She seemed to be eaten by insecurity rather than guilt. Now I don’t recommend guilt as an emotion, but it is at least the first step on the road to remorse on to responsibility and adulthood. She has now checked into the Priory with “depression”. I am sorry, but acute unhappiness is not depression. I’ve been in both spaces. They are very different. She is in the “Mummy make it go away” phase which – to be honest – one should have grown out of by the age of 9. Again, this is not to say that she isn’t honestly desperately miserable right now, but she seems incapable of accepting that the situation is of her own creation.

Danielle and Jo

Danielle and Jo show the self-awareness of logs, I am afraid. Or maybe they have just marginally more self-control and self-respect than Jade, and are simply not wailing all over the red-tops. Danielle did do a very whiny interview in the Mirror, saying that Big Brother hadn’t shown her being nice to Shilpa, unfortunately this was only after she had been told to shape up in the Diary Room, and she seems completely unaware that being nice does not wipe out being nasty. Incidentally, if Teddy Sherringham did decide to end their relationship while she was in the house, then he most certainly should not have said so in public. It just makes him seem as shallow and nasty as the long-legged shit-smelling beauty herself.

Jo I find the most interesting. She denies that she has done anything wrong, which shows that she is herself standing up to the bullying of the press and the other meedja.

Both Danielle and Jo said “I giggled because I was nervous” – so someone briefed them well before those interviews. Most people with nervous giggles have no idea they are doing it.

Ach, it’s all nasty, shallow and unpleasant. But plaudits for Shilpa who “had the grace to hold herself when those about her crawled”, and hold herself in a way which neither Marilyn nor Diana ever managed, for that matter.

I wonder if she’s a gay icon yet.

Jade Goody to be interviewed by police

Police to talk to Goody over ‘Big Brother’ racism row
Hertfordshire police said yesterday that they are trying to interview Jade Goody about allegedly racist comments aimed at Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty during her stint in the Big Brother house. So far the 25-year-old has been unavailable for the inquiry … There was further bad news for Goody when she accused of “legitimising” bullying in schools ….
The Independent
Also the BBC

I said that Channel 4 was thinking in legal terms not ethical ones. As another example, the editor of the News of the World waited to resign until after the jail sentance was handed out to his journo. No point in doing the decent thing if you can get away without it, is there?

It seems that today’s cynics know the laws about everything but have values about nothing.


Right and wrong, black and white

Channel 4 seem to be happy to broadcast what they term “cultural” and “class-based” bullying. It seems they did almost nothing to stop Jade Goody and the other housemates bullying Shilpa Shetty. This suggests to me that the reason that they wouldn’t broadcast “overtly racist behaviour” is because racist actions are illegal. If they are basing their decisions on what is and is not illegal, then they are ignoring questions of morality, ethics and human decency. I wonder, did they take the advice of Lawyers or did they go to their Public Relations people? Did they take anyone’s advice at all?

So why IS bullying ok when racism isn’t?

Racism and BullyingBullying and racism overlap in a venn diagram: not all bullying is racist and not all racism is bullying. So far, so obvious.

There are legal structures around racism, of course; racially motivated attacks in the UK carry greater sentences than mere thuggery and you are legally protected from racist bias in the workplace.

Presumably racist acts are illegal because it is relatively simple to legislate against them. After all, it is the action which is legislated against, not the attitude. It is racial, (or sexual or homophobic) discrimination which is illegal, not racism, sexism and homophobia. In all conscience, it is hard enough to prove discrimination in a court of law or a tribunal.

Racism is a prejudice that cannot speak its name. No-one in their right mind is going to stand up and say “I am a racist” – witness Mel Gibson’s retraction of his anti-Semitism last year. People will however ascribe the most appalling bigotry and prejudice to “cultural differences” and get away with it. Call me naive, but I fail to see why prejudice based on “cultural differences” is morally any better than racism. It is not as socially unacceptable, and it is not legislated against, but it is – surely – just as bad morally. Channel 4 has used this get-out-of-jail-free card itself, and allowed Jade Goody and the other housemates to use it, thereby perpetuating the pernicious myth that it is ok to express prejudice based on another person’s culture “because that isn’t racist”.

I really have to conclude that Channel 4 is morally bankrupt. It seems to me that the only reason they stepped in at all is that racial harassment and racial discrimination are illegal. If they weren’t illegal, I suspect that they would not have stepped in.

It seems that they do not know the difference between right and wrong, only the difference between black and white.

“Cultural Differences”

Can anyone explain to me why bullying someone because of “cultural differences” is acceptable, but racist bullying is not?

(I have – of course – got thoughts of my own, but no time right now to marshall them into coherency, let alone write them up.
I know and you know that I will be posting them as soon as I can though.)