Channel 4’s expulsion of “Big Brother” contestant Emily Parr, for the use of racist language directed at a fellow housemate, strikes me as something of an excessive response! Emily was with Charley and Nicky in the garden of the Big Brother House, at approximately 8.30pm the night before last, when she was heard to say “Are you pushing it out you nigger?” to Charley. I believe they were dancing together at the time. There are no excuses, of course, but there may be all sorts of reasons why Ms Parr said it. She’s nineteen and the young aren’t particularly careful with their use of language, although she does aspire to be an actress and has already participated in productions of quality writing so, one might assume from this angle, she should know better! She may have had too much to drink? She may have assumed the language acceptable as the offending word can be found on every other rap record, ironically often performed by black “artistes”, with which she’s no doubt familiar from nights spent clubbing! For Emily to even think that what she said was ok, though, is a little naïve considering the “Celebrity Big Brother” incident earlier this year!!
And, it’s in comparing the rapid response to Emily’s faux pas with the tortured debate that followed the Shilpa Shetty skirmish that one is left wondering about double standards. Why weren’t the three offending women from the earlier confrontation also immediately ejected? Could they have been allowed to remain in the programme because they’re pampered “celebrities”, using the loosest sense of that word, or have Channel 4 genuinely reviewed their policy subsequently, regarding the use of language, for fear of losing, sorry offending, viewers? What would the television company do if everyone decided to use the same word for the hell of it?! If they are worried about causing offence in this way, I trust that all programmes will be edited accordingly and that there will no longer be any swearing on television! Similarly, there was an incident recently in which several female housemates chased Ziggy with the intention of removing his swimming shorts. While he may have enjoyed the attention, had it been the other way round, and several men chasing a young female with the intention of removing her bikini bottom, I suspect a charge of indecent assault would’ve followed! Different strokes for different folks, anyone?!!