To all but the most trusting viewer, it was clear that Jade Goody was forewarned about the furore surrounding her merciless bullying of Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty, and allowed to take some steps towards saving her miserable career.
A forced apology by Goody to Shilpa the day before she was booted out of the Big Brother house appeared more an attempt at damage limitation than a genuine apology.
When Goody emerged from the Big Brother house she showed no surprise at the lack of an audience. Emerging from the House to a crowd is one of the key moments of every Big Brother eviction and yet Goody, not exactly renowned for her quick-wittedness, was clearly prepared and showed no reaction, not even looking around to where the audience usually stands.
The interview afterwards showed Goody on a damage limitation exercise as if pre-prepared by a team of PR experts on how to weather the storm of protest that has erupted around the nasty Goody’s antics.
Although the program makers have a duty of care towards the participants well-being, I personally don’t believe that should go so far as helping them save their career, which was after all, built on playing the victim.
“I was nasty but not racist,” she admitted.
So are we, the viewing public, to take from this that singling out someone from a different country, of a different skin colour, with a different upbringing, and tormenting them, mocking them; deriding their accent, upbringing and culture with a barrage of abuse, including calling them ‘popadom’ or ‘the Indian’ is acceptable because it is only ‘being nasty’?
Big Brother program makers had no qualms about using the nastiness of Goody and her henchmen, Jo and Danielle, to boost their ratings and took no steps to admonish Goody when she hurled torrents of abuse at Shilpa – something that has happened on previous shows; yet there appeared to be every effort made to protect Goody from having to face what would have been uncomfortable questioning by reporters when she came out of the house, the after show press conference cancelled along with the crowd.
That in itself seems fundamentaly racist!