More racism in Big Brother – housemate evicted this time

Hooray for sense prevailing.

Emily Parr has been removed from the Big Brother house for using a racially offensive word to another housemate.

The 19-year-old from Bristol was taken out of the compound at 0330 BST and was forbidden from having any further contact with the 11 other contestants.

This week’s eviction vote has been suspended, in which Emily was nominated along with Shabnam Paryani.

A spokeswoman for Channel 4 said that the decision had been taken because “such behaviour won’t be tolerated”.

Emily said: “Are you pushing it out, you nigger?” to Charley Uchea, while they were dancing in the living room on Wednesday evening.

Good Lord! I’m actually in shock. First, this Ms Parr is from Bristol, a multi-cultural city; and, second, she’s a student at age 19, so we can assume that’s she fairly well educated. Yet she still thinks it’s acceptable to use such words? Officemate and I were discussing it and we wondered if it just ‘slipped out’ because they were fooling around, or if she uses the word ‘nigger’ habitually. Or, indeed, if it just ‘slipped out’ on national television because it is a common word in her lexicon. Regardless, her behaviour is shameful.

The post of my post, however, was to note my appreciation of Channel 4’s quick thinking to evict the offending housemate immediately. This is a contrast to their decision in Celebrity Big Brother, where they allowed racist behaviour to continue over a period of days. I’m trying to believe that Channel 4 and the production company, Endemol, are genuine in their claim that they won’t tolerate such behaviour, but I’m inclined to think that they’re rather more concerned with preserving their ‘reputation’ and not losing their sponsorship again.

We’ll probably never know, and it’s largely academic anyway. And in whatever case, it’s a result for common sense and sensibilities and for that I’m grateful. I’ll bet the Respect task Force think all their Christmases have come at once!

54 responses to “More racism in Big Brother – housemate evicted this time

  1. Perhaps she was thinking it was cool and hip… you know how all the rappers say it and stuff?. or perhaps not!

    i think they’re trying to prove that they won’t tolerate it at all… but the difference is that in the celebrity one, we don’t ACTUALLY know if they overtly used racist language do we? It said that they use the ‘P’ word, but other reports say it was the ‘c’ word that they bleeped out.

  2. Perhaps she was, Pinky. Well that’ll learn her!

    I’m don’t think that the use of the ‘P’ word was the only problem. Statements were made such as, ‘I wish she’d F-off back home’ and they all contributed to the feeling that housemates were being racist.

  3. Yes yes indeed. I just think someone having used a directly racist word when talking to someone, well they can’t ignore that can they? They can get away with saying the others weren’t being overtly racist… see what i mean?

    They can say that things they were saying can be taken as being racist or not… but saying the ‘n’ or ‘p’ word.. well it’s just silly

  4. *sigh*
    It makes me feel all superior that I haven’t been watching it and therefore haven’t yet been exposed to this racist nonsense. Not that I’m some kind of green supremacist or anything even though you bland skins look all the same to me.

  5. Pinky, I see what you mean now. I thought you were implying that because it can’t be verified that they actually used overtly racist terms, it can’t be concluded at all that they were being racist. That was an argument at the time, and I was very opposed to it. But you make a good point. And more fool her.

    Frog, you’re just right not to watch it. I’m not watching it myself but I read the BBC website avidly every day and the like of that can’t help but jump out at you. I certainly won’t watch any of it now I see this is what’s going on. And clearly you’re a racist pig anyway, so I’m not going to speak to you any more! 😉

  6. Words don’t “slip out” if you wouldn’t normally use them. If someone, for example, accidentally swears in a situation where it wouldn’t be expected, you know very well that they regularly use the same word in other situations where it might.

  7. That was our conclusion, too, miss-next. Words don’t just slip out unless you’re accustomed to using them. I should know – I’ve been known to swear in situations where swearing is just not acceptable. I haven’t in a long time, though, thankfully.

  8. Our conclusion too. How stupid do you have to be to let a racist word slip on Big Brother though, after the justified furore during the celebrity series? My colleagues pointed out that I would be similarly banned for referring to her as a “retard” though 😉

  9. Not one of the people commenting, including the blogger, is genuinely offended or afflicted by these events. Pathetic.

  10. Pathetic-
    1. causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful; pitiable: a pathetic letter; a pathetic sight.
    2. affecting or moving the feelings.
    3. pertaining to or caused by the feelings.
    4. miserably or contemptibly inadequate: In return for our investment we get a pathetic three percent interest.

    Racism-
    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

  11. If you wan’t more clarity concerning my stance then feel free to read my blog.

    The definitions offered more than answer your misunderstandings. You wanted to know why I called it pathetic, your view is contemptidly inadequate and evokative over logic. You spout buzz word ‘racism’ yet there is nothing resembling the dictionary definition of such an act in the BB house. No hatred, no racial superiority imposed.

  12. oh right.. i get it, you’re one of those people who thinks that using big words makes you clever?! pathetic indeed.

    I’ve read your blog, i’ve read your definitions and your first comment still makes no sense at all.

  13. Tell me what you don’t understand and I’ll be happy to tell you what I mean.

    In regards to my first comment, I believe that none of the individuals commenting are black. Even if this assumption is false I can’t believe that they could muster genuine offense from the incident considering the context. If they are offended, they are being highly reactionary veering toward militant. The UK is roughly nintey-percent white though
    , and it’ll be the cosy suburban second-guessers that melt the switchboard at C4.

  14. oh touchy about it too.

    Yes, 90% (actually according to the last censue 92.1%) are white… and the resulting 7.9% that is of minority ethnic population sounds tiny, i agree… but it actually equates to 4.6 million people. Sounds a bit different when you say it like that, i’m willing to bet that some of those people have something to say about it too.

    Just becasue someone isn’t black, i don’t think it means that they can’t be offended.. and actually, no one here was shouting and screaming about that, i think people were more interested in Channel 4s reaction this time, preferring to nip it in the bud before all of the tabloid frenzy.

    Very nice of you to come here and start assuming things and all that though.

    Interestingly, i agree with a little of what you say about it on your blog, but i think you take it just a little too far, bordering on being discriminatory yourself.

  15. Post from imtheotherdave.

    Okay, I am a white man, as white as they come (Edit: on account of my pigmentation not philosophy.) Saying that, I feel thoroughly entitled to my opinion concerning the recent Big Brother expulsion. And, no, I’m not scared of being moronically labelled as racist in the same haphazard and self-serving way that I may be called ‘infidel’ by a blind-minded Muslim.

    The fact that a 19 year old girl could be removed from the Big Brother house for jovially, and admittedly clumsily, spouting the word ‘nigger’ scares the shit out of me. If we live in a world in which people cannot discern the difference between genuine prejudice and cultural satire then our country is in a very pathetic shape. Emily was hardly wearing a pointed hat as she spoke.

    We are all adults here and we all, truly, know the extent of this issue. Indeed, racism concerning Shilpa Shetty last year was fucking non-existent too. This country is fast to paddy to her every needs yet we don’t bat an eyelid when the true racists, ie Indians, burn the British flag or effigies of Mr Richard Gere. Am I missing something here? Should we not be constructing large wooden Dharmka Chakra and pissing all over it. I mean, how dare another country share differing ideals to our own, that is the true racism.

    Nigger, or should I type nigga as not to offend, is a derogatory term long made redundant by the minstrel show that is mainstream hip-hop. Don’t tell me that blacks, oops African-Americans, can use that term and not me – fuck off- segregating and making exceptions based on colour is a little more problematic than an archaic term for slaves. Yes, slavery was horrible and we must be sensitive to history, any atrocity needs to be perpetuated as not to repeat. Big Brother, however, will not mend the ills of our world with this gutless tripe, only worsen them.

    Let’s just look at the individual person and not the headline. Pathetic.

  16. There are a few things I would like to ask you about from your post, Dave. I’ve copied the post to the comment above for ease and for those who are interested.

    If we live in a world in which people cannot discern the difference between genuine prejudice and cultural satire then our country is in a very pathetic shape. Emily was hardly wearing a pointed hat as she spoke.

    No, no she was not. But my belief is that a large proportion of people cannot tell the difference at all between genuine prejudice and ‘cultural satire’ as you call it, and allowing incidents such as what happened in BB to go unnoticed can only affirm to them and others that using offensive and racist language is, in some way, acceptable. Do you completely disagree with this?

    Indeed, racism concerning Shilpa Shetty last year was fucking non-existent too.

    I disagree with this, and have entered into many debates on the subject. For example, if I, as an Irish person living in England, was told to f-off home, I would undoubtedly feel it was racist. The same rule applies to much of what was said to and about Shetty on the programme.

    This country is fast to paddy to her every needs yet we don’t bat an eyelid when the true racists, ie Indians, burn the British flag or effigies of Mr Richard Gere.

    First (and incidentally), is ‘paddy’ something to do with the Irish? Second, these issues – Shetty on BB and Gere in India – are not mutually exclusive: one is not an absolutely racist incident while the other, absolutely not a racist incident. They both have elements of racism that are unacceptable.

    Nigger, or should I type nigga as not to offend, is a derogatory term long made redundant by the minstrel show that is mainstream hip-hop. Don’t tell me that blacks, oops African-Americans, can use that term and not me – fuck off- segregating and making exceptions based on colour is a little more problematic than an archaic term for slaves. Yes, slavery was horrible and we must be sensitive to history, any atrocity needs to be perpetuated as not to repeat.

    I think that I get the jist of your point here, but I want to clarify two things. Are you claiming that as black people use the term ‘nigger’ amongst and about themselves, then non-black people should be allowed to use it also? And, therefore, is this also the case if the term is used by non-black people in an intentionally racist and offensive way? (I should add that I see little other way to use the word, but that’s just a by the by.)

    Big Brother, however, will not mend the ills of our world with this gutless tripe, only worsen them.

    I’m sure that no one is claiming that, and I certainly wasn’t. However, BB is, unfortunately, incredibly influential here and has become something of a sociological phenomenon in its own right. Therefore, although I hate to admit it, it could have a positive influence just as much as a negative one.

    Thanks.

  17. ‘No, no she was not. But my belief is that a large proportion of people cannot tell the difference at all between genuine prejudice and ‘cultural satire’ as you call it, and allowing incidents such as what happened in BB to go unnoticed can only affirm to them and others that using offensive and racist language is, in some way, acceptable. Do you completely disagree with this?’

    Does the fault not lie with the individuals that cannot discern a difference between the two? Should the civil liberties be taken away because of that specific ignorance? I have been reading several comments about Emily online and she is certainly the recipient of hatred, she will forever be branded the ‘racist housemate’.

    ‘I disagree with this, and have entered into many debates on the subject. For example, if I, as an Irish person living in England, was told to f-off home, I would undoubtedly feel it was racist. The same rule applies to much of what was said to and about Shetty on the programme.’

    I completelly agree with your comment concerning the “f-off home” comment, I certainly overlooked that. I will retract the statement but maintain the sentiment that much of the press coverage was sensationalist. If an Indian lady, truly intending on living in India after the show, comes on to a UK show, cultural comments will arise. I recall comments being made about the American guests also, but mocking American culture is somehow acceptable. Ignorance and hatred are not always the same thing, I suppose it is the inability to understand this that causes such fiery reactions.

    ‘I think that I get the jist of your point here, but I want to clarify two things. Are you claiming that as black people use the term ‘nigger’ amongst and about themselves, then non-black people should be allowed to use it also? And, therefore, is this also the case if the term is used by non-black people in an intentionally racist and offensive way? (I should add that I see little other way to use the word, but that’s just a by the by.)’

    I am saying exactly that there should be no term or label acceptable for one group and unacceptable for another. It is counter-productive for that term to be used by anyone, I agree, but read the following-

    Emily: Somebody has already used that word in this house.

    Charley: No way. (Pause) Yeah, me. I’m a n’igger.

    Yes, it can be used as an exclusive term of enderment, strength or masculinity between blacks in pop culture, but there are many black people that simply detest this use, hence why I called hip-hop a minstrel show. It is perpetuating a false image. To be black is not to hip-hop. Besides, it trivialises an incestious and deep-rooted issue in this country. Emily is not the perpetual ‘man’. If the word is used as a direct insult towards a black then it is obviously racist, I agree. It wasn’t the case.

    “I’m sure that no one is claiming that, and I certainly wasn’t. However, BB is, unfortunately, incredibly influential here and has become something of a sociological phenomenon in its own right. Therefore, although I hate to admit it, it could have a positive influence just as much as a negative one.”

    I was being facetious. My point is that C4 are desplaying a faux-morality. I think it is dangerous to be so quick to label somebody a racist. It retards necessary debate in a very multi-cultural society. Although racism has been removed from popular conciousness, chattering masses still carry hatred. This issue will only strengthen groups such as the BNP because many white people are feeling segregated and scared to speak about issues such as immigration, culture and race without being branded ‘racist scum.’

    Let me make it clear, I am not a racist. The fact I have to make that statement is the reason why I care.

    Hope that answers your questions.

  18. Seems Charley was dancing in a particular dance style to which Emily said ‘you pushing it out you N’, her rationale was that her and her friends use the term a lot and beside Charley had already used the term in reference to herself in the house so she thought it was acceptable. I don’t know, I found the bullying with a racist undertones more offensive and upsetting than a young girl using the N word in a non confontational, friendly way but I think I’m alone.

  19. Oh, thanks for moving my comment to here 🙂
    I see there is a lot more debate on ‘this side of the wall’….

  20. To be honest unless a housemate physically or mentally attacks another housemates (other than simply driving them demented with attention seeking) then I think BB as an entity needs to stay out of it. Only in the case of safety of contestants should one or more be removed, I’d like to think the judge and jury aspect is carried out by the viewers rather than by a television company that has one eye on the ratings and the other eye on the advertisers/money etc.

  21. I see your point, Kris. I’m just not sure in reality, though, how that would work. Do you mean that she should have left in the house to be voted out if that’s what the viewers wanted? I guess so – but it wouldn’t be very responsible television.

  22. It is supposed to be reality televisions so I suppose we gave up responsible television yonks ago. She didn’t attack anyone or insult them (at least not in that incident) and so technically there is no reason to remove her except that Big Brother have been scared into being a bit trigger happy and nervous when it comes to racial issues. Being spoken to and perhaps asked to apologise to the rest of them would have been a healthier response in my opinion.

  23. Pingback: A Review Of The Use Of Numbers On tender[hooligan] « BILLY MOUTH·

  24. “I believe that none of the individuals commenting are black” I was going to point out that you don;t need to be black to be racially abused or to be white to be the abuser but I can see that it has already been well covered here.

    I’m quite looking forward to the day when we all suffer from colour blindness….it does seem a long way off though.

  25. I haven’t seen the incident but I agree that the only person who should be complaining is Charley. What if Emma has black friends on the outside who call each other “nigger” and are comfortable with her using it too? What if she considers Charley a friend and that’s why it slipped out? Just playing Devil’s Advocate here.

    Racism is alive and well in Bristol – I saw a car load of white dudes throw a banana at a black guy last month. You don’t have to be black to find persecution of others shameful. Many non-Jews feel this way about the Holocaust!

    I once had a ridiculous conversation with an American colleague who said I couldn’t EVER say the word “nigger” – not even in an abstract debate like this. (Nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger.) But then you can’t even say “black” out there. I can’t believe they find a colour pejorative. Without intent (mens rea, in a court of law) there is no crime in my eyes.

    Anyway, before Dave waded in to cause more offence with “pathetic” than Emma did with “nigger” (i.e. words come pre-loaded, my arse), this post was about Channel 4. What if they paid Emma an astronomical sum of money to go through this in order to respond swiftly and re-establish their integrity with their sponsors? How’s THAT for cynicism??

  26. Sorry for the double-post but I just remembered it’s a game show: perhaps ANY use of certain words is forbidden in the rules that we never see. If so, Emma should have to drop out of the game but shouldn’t be branded a racist bully like Jade and Jo clearly were in CBB. (You don’t get that kind of behaviour on Deal Or No Deal!)

    Has there been any darned nudity yet? An all-girl house is clearly a) playing the percentages and b) designed to lull the ladies into a false sense of security.

  27. Marcus, thanks for your comments.

    What if Emma has black friends on the outside who call each other “nigger” and are comfortable with her using it too? What if she considers Charley a friend and that’s why it slipped out?

    I actually think that this is the case – she was trying to argue that anyway in her apology. And I remember you telling me about that incident in Bristol, and I don’t doubt that racism is alive and well. You would just think that a 19 year old college student would know better, you know. I mean, everyone should know better of course…

    And good Lord, that is cynicism! Do you think that might be possible? Mod never came back to tell me if he was being serious or not.

    Re. your other points. I hope that she’s not branded as Jade etc. were – she’s clearly not in the same league as them and was [probably] not being malicious.

    No nudity, that I know of. Check youtube! 😉

  28. No nudity allowed on YouTube 😦

    You’d have to make a judgment call on whether Emma was acting genuine or whether Charley was in on it too 🙂 and it sounds unlikely, but absolutely it’s possible, say I. They’ve been cheating on quiz shows since whenever that movie, Quiz Show, was based – it’s only entertainment TV after all. Hardly comparable to a political lie like the kind we’re immune to now cos we get them daily, etc.

    FWIW my American colleague in the anecdote above was mid-40s conserative white dude, so he was displaying how he’d learned the rules but stayed completely ignorant about the actual point of being PC. What’s the point of saying anything if it’s scripted rather than genuine? Knob.

    That’s me lot. Goodnight, everybody! (Goodnight, Dr. Nick.)

  29. Marcus, cynical and suspicious as I am, I don’t think that they orchestrated this on BB. But of course, I can’t be sure.

    That’s interesting about your colleague. I like the ‘knob’ to close! You weren’t fond of this chap, no?

  30. Nobody (sane) liked him!

    Oh, I don’t really think it was fixed either. Since no-one else has brought it up and I haven’t even seen the footage, the chance of that being the case seems slim! But reality shows have used stooges before, like on the dire SPACE CADETS.

    47 comments = good going, girl.

  31. No, it hasn’t been raised at all, so it must not be a common theory. Thinking about it further, though, I’m surprised that it’s not. No one really trusts Endemol any more.

    Re. number of comments. Um, not sure how that happened!

  32. Thankfully I have missed all this crap. But lets be honest, we all knew they’d do something like this. Afterall there are ratings to think of!

  33. Well, I haven’t read all 50 comments, but just so you know, in Canada, I regularly get called ‘my nigger’ by a girl I work with in a kind of ‘yo yo yo whasssup mah miggah!’ kind of way. She’s not black, and neither am I, but we use it between ourselves. Black people call each other nigger between themselves over here too – but you can’t cross the boundary and have a white person call a black person a nigger. Form of oppression and all that.

    Funny that black people call white people crackers all the time though and it’s okay (at least, over here).

  34. Congrats on the amount of interest your blog is getting! Makes an interesting read. I’m sorry that marcus resented my use of the term “pathetic” but the debate certainly became more intelligentt after that, I hope.

  35. Thanks, Dave. I don’t mind a bit of debate at all so long as it all stays civil an respectful. But it didn’t always on this thread but not to worry.

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