After cynically using the race row to attract attention to the stale Celebrity Big Brother franchise, British broadcaster Channel 4 were caught off-guard by the outrage directed at them. That’s why the new season of the reality series is being touted as “sexy and fun,” not “controversial.” Covering their asses, they’ve instituted a no-tolerance policy on racist language. Just today, Big Brother producers kicked out a white contestant for calling a black contestant the “N” word.
According to The Guardian (reg. may be required), Emily Parr, who is white, had been dancing with Charley Uchea, who is black, and another guest. Parr was overheard telling Uchea, “Are you pushing it out, you n***er?” According to the transcript, Parr said she was joking, and Uchea responded, “I know you were … but that’s some serious sh*t, sorry.” Parr was later called in by producers and told to exit the house immediately.
Unlike the Jade Goody/Shilpa Shetty debacle on Celebrity Big Brother debacle, there was little question over whether or not racist language had been used. However, some worry if Channel 4 overreacted when they sent Parr home. Paul Flynn at The Guardian writes,
“Like everyone else outside the program-makers, I have yet to see the footage of the incident, but for teenage girls brought up enshrined in the vernacular of hip hop, through which the word ‘n***er’ is littered, it is not inconceivable that this was delivered with some boisterous, if grossly ill-timed, affection? In this context, could a synonym of Emily’s silly statement have been ‘are you pushing it out, gangsta?’”
I agree. Emily Parr’s statement doesn’t begin to approach the disgusting and repeated abuse Jade Goody and her thugs doled out on Shilpa Shetty. C4 and the producers have their finger on the trigger now because the Goody/Shetty ordeal cost them financial and political capital. What, did Big Brother suddenly grow a conscience? Doubtful.
In other news:
- A very pregnant Charlotte Church showed up at the Glamour Awards.
- More red carpet fashions: Victoria Beckham‘s Chanel dress is smaller than her knickers!(Mirror)
- Gordon Ramsay‘s lamb, Charlotte, was killed on the grounds of the Beckham’s estate in Herfordshire, reports say. When pressed on it by The Sun‘s Victoria Newton at the Glamour Awards, Mrs. Beckham didn’t seem to know anything about it.
- Perez Hilton has the latest Mel C. interview about the possible Spice Girls reunion. She’s “open” to it.
- Franz Ferdinand‘s secret show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom isn’t such a secret anymore.(NME)
- Jennifer Aniston‘s new British boyfriend, model Paul Sculfor (seen in this commercial), has Pitt-like qualities. Frankly, I think he’s a step-up.
- To deter gang activity at fairs, organizers simply play Cliff Richard songs. I’m sure it deters some perfectly decent paying customers as well.(Gigwise)
- A Blur reunion featuring Graham Coxon seems more and more likely, according to drummer Dave Rowntree.(Gigwise)
- Could X-Factor winner Leona Lewis nab a duet with her idol, Whitney Houston? It took Mariah eight years to receive such an honor.
- Director John Boorman slags off today’s movie “idols”: “When I look at the current crop of stars I ask myself, ‘Do I want to work with any of those people?’ Not many of them.”(The Times)
- Check out the actors set to portray Take That in the boy band’s unauthorized musical. Nope, not slutty-looking enough.(The Sun)
- Arjan Timmermans interviews Andy Bell of Erasure, who says the music industry is still homophobic after all these years: “[Being a gay artist] is still a taboo…Erasure has never been asked to do any mainstream festivals for example. And we’re not in the mainstream music press here in Britain. Thank god for the gay press.”
- Paul Greengrass, the Oscar-nominated British director of United 93, and Matt Damon are doing a movie about Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.(Guardian)
- My Family star Kris Marshall, Murphy’s Law‘s Georgia Mackenzie, and Brideshead Revisited‘s Diana Quick will team up in a romantic comedy set in the world of dog shows. It’s from the makers of Footballers Wive$.
- The State Within was nominated for a Best Movie, Miniseries, or Special by The Television Critics Association. (Variety)