Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother has been engulfed in a row over alleged racism and bullying.
The target has been the Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty. The rows seemed to begin when Jade Goody, who initially rose to fame after appearing to give a fellow Big Brother contestant oral sex in a previous series of (non-celebrity) Big Brother and immediately getting dumped; entered the house, this time as a ‘celebrity’.
Much like the fat, ugly, playground bully, Goody seemed to draw the other female contestants into her circle before singling out Shilpa Shetty as the outsider. The situation was not helped by her mother, Jackiey Budden, who also spent a short time in the house and pointedly refused to call Shilpa Shetty by her first name, referring to her instead as ‘the Indian’.
Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, has received thousands of complaints following the show that was aired on 16 January 2007, due to the bullying tactics and racial attacks employed by Jade and fellow contestants Jo and Danielle; reportedly the contestants referred to Shilpa as ‘the dog’, and imitated her accent.