George Galloway is helming the satellite show this week, and he’s doing a pretty good job of it. He takes it so bloody seriously, it’s hard not to stifle a chuckle as it’s like he’s roaming the American Senate again. It’s almost possible to forget the cat business.
Last night, he had a proper issue to get his teeth into.
It’s hard to imagine what’s going through the minds of Big Brother bosses at present. Probably some smugly self-congratulatory back-slapping going on over there, given their reaction to the racist language used by ex-housemate, Emily Parr in light of what happened last time. It was very much a run-of-the-mill Big Brother until Emily, brainless bozo that she is, remarked to Charley: ‘Are you pushing it out, you nigger?’ Now – whether she intended to sound ‘street’ as Gorgeous George asserted, or whether this language is so commonplace in her social network’s lexicon is pretty much irrelevant. I agreed with the general consensus in the studio. It was said to a relative stranger, flippantly, and it caused offence, so damn right she should be removed.
Charley’s reaction was fascinating to watch, for all the wrong reasons. Some may have thought she was trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but they’d be wrong. I think she was genuinely having problems with the fact that the word was supposedly said in jest, yet she couldn’t assuage just why it had been said in the first place. She also knew the reaction would be harsh. You can’t fault her for panicking a little and discussing it with Nicky to straighten her thoughts out on the issue. She continued to speak to Emily in the aftermath, pursuing her reasons for speaking that way, but also made it clear she wasn’t judging her.
For the second time in two series, we’ve been privy to someone being offended in one of the most base ways imaginable. Without any thought about the actual meaning of the word, Emily allowed the word to ‘slip out’, she claimed. Without wanting to sound like a teacher, these words shouldn’t slip out and they also shouldn’t be among the mind’s options of words to use in any social situation. Self-censorship shouldn’t really have to come into play, in the same way that, whilst observing a friend’s young child, the words ‘nice arse’ wouldn’t just ‘slip out’ under any circumstances.
BBBM dealt with this fairly well, but it’s essential that Emily is provided with after-care and advice on how to deal with her situation. After all, the language in this context was not malicious. It was foolhardy, misjudged, misguided and fucking idiotic, but most importantly, offensive. All the same, it was simply that, an act of foolishness which may offend, so I think any tabloid lynching should be put on hold.
All in all, the whole situation only makes the Shilpa Shetty incident earlier in the year seem even more rank. Why wasn’t Jade removed from the house? Why is Danielle still tabloid fodder? Their use of language was clearly vindictive but it was allowed to have carried on. At least we’re being reminded that Channel 4 haven’t been sufficiently punished for their lack of action last time around.
Here’s the clip: