Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The end of Goody in sight ?

Today was an example of how the media can create a storm out of something very trivial. It was an example of how deeper issues can be explored by using something mundane and how stories take on a life of their own.

A couple of days after the bullying of Shilpa Shetty by 3 of her Big Brother House mates (Jade, Danielle and Jo) reached an unacceptable level virtually every British paper and news progamme has given it coverage. This is an extrordinary level of publicity for a "game" between a group of celebrities many of whom have seen better days or are not so well known.

However once the race factor had been introduced it became clear that Jade Goody's celebrity career may die in the same place that it was born- the Big Brother House. Major corporate sponsors like Carphone Warehouse muttered about withdrawing sponsorship understandably nervous about their brand becoming associated with an ignorant band of bigots. They could cope with ignorance but when racial bigotry appeared to be involved the corporates got nervous.

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, even commented in the House of Commons although he did not attempt to gain popularity by pretending to watch Celebrity Big Brother. That might have happened 10 years ago, but now he simply condemned the situation involving Jade's gang that was described to him.

Big Brother went global and the London Evening Standard hoardings proclaimed "India erupts against Big Brother". The victim-heroine of this saga is one of India's daughters so the incident caused embarrassment for supposed future-PM, Gordon Brown as he visited India.

The Indian foreign minister spoke of an "appropriate response" to the abuse of Shilpa ? Surely not a war over Big Brother ?!!

Shilpa's Mother was even interviewed on Sky News to speak of her pride in her daughter's dignity. All in all, a steam in a media tea cup but a storm that speaks of race, of class, of culture and of how Britain as a nation treats outsiders.

In the Big Brother House, Germaine Jackson, Dirk Benedict together with Shilpa form the "foreign group" of two Americans and an Indian. They seem bermused by the 3 unpleasant examples of the British female they are forced to live with.

Tonight some relief may be in sight. It appears Jade Goody together with Shilpa have been nominated for eviction. Surely there will be some common sense and we can all say goodbye to Miss. Goody on Friday ?

Beauty or the Beast ? The people will decide....................

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