January 17, 2007

Little Big Brother: British TV's most racist programmes

If you're an educator who can watch Big Brother then I'm going to ask that you do watch it. Not because it's good television. It's terrible TV. But your kids are watching this and they are having to watch one of the rudest, thickest, most racist group of individuals I have ever had the displeasure to watch on public television. While you're at it, send a complaint to Ofcom now and Channel 4 to express your distaste at their editorial-less coverage of this inane series.

Jade and her two cronies are enjoying their racist exchanges with Bollywood star, hero to a billion or more, Shilpa.

In the past minute:

"That was fantastic; I loved it": Danielle
"It made my day": Jo O'Meara (ex S Club 7, teen pop band)
"How can she say I need elocution lessons?": Jade
"I think she should f*&% off home... She can't even speak f*&%& English anyway." Danielle

As Jermaine Jackson has just said: "Don't argue with this stupidity".

If this were filmed in Scotland this bunch of loons would be under Scottish law, currently being escorted from the house under police escort, ready for prosecution in the morning. Under UK law I think this qualifies as part of the "Incitement of Racial Hatred" laws our Labour Government passed last year.

In your classroom tomorrow this will either rear an ugly head as kids laugh like their idols or raise some difficult questions to which you need to know your approach. Good luck, and I hope we can turn this into an opportunity to educate our young people.

Shilpa: "This is what the UK is today? It's scary".

Should this be shown on TV? Should the girls be led out immediately to a baying public or removed off-air in the middle of the night and dealt with through the law.


Update: I can't complain to Ofcom; their server is timing out with the number of complaints already being made (20,000 this morning and counting)

Update 2: Take a look at the reactions on the Technorati 'Shilpa' search/watchlist.

Update 3: From Technorati I found this apt thinking: The witches... are a prime example of the common and thick pond life that for some bizarre reason are ‘celebrities’ – it must stop, come on people time for a backlash... Let’s celebrate people with talent and manners - neither of which is dependant on social class!


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I'm glad you have raised this Ewan teachers should be encouraging their classes to discuss the treatment of Shilpa.

I have been horrified by the behaviour of the women involved but lets not forget to discuss the issue of the men who stand by and seem to implicate its all just a 'girl thing' rather than a 'racism thing'.

You're quite right on that account. We were sitting on the sofa willing someone to jump in and point out how stupid, ignorant and, by proxy, racist these girls were being.

In the end they all went to the diary room to complain. What is it that we do in school with kids? We advise them to "tell a teacher". Is the diary room the teacher? Is telling a teacher adequate or should we be teaching something else?

There seems to be much wringing of hands across sections of the media, with a few high profile Endemol employees letting live on-screen comments go unchallenged. Good then to see Dave Gorman put forward his views at http://youtube.com/watch?v=1iuOHCclj8c

Good post. It is ugly stuff.

There is a lot of racism in the UK, often hiding just out of public view. I hope at least this debate and the loud disgust at the behaviour of those people shames some into rethinking their shabby attitudes.

Britain and social class in the same page, Britain today is a bucket of cultures and class most of which rely on doing nothing to get through life.

The lottery, scratchcards, jade all these items are marketed for those wishing for a better life.

The best thing that can happen to Jade is for her career to fail. But remeber this over 80% of Britons ARE JAde be they fundamentalkists, racists, small minded undereducated chavs... Im betting we get a 'Jade' goes to India documentary in which Jade visists slums and compares them to say Manchester...

Jade will survive, after all she is the 25th most influential person in the world, and you put her there!

I put her there by blogging about her or we put her there by buying newspapers and magazines where she happens to appear? Somehow, I think when she leaves this house she's not going to know what hit her..

No wonder kids are so thick if their teachers spend all day talking about TV programmes. When I was at school, in the fifties and sixties, we got reading, writing and spelling.

Personally I'd report to the authorities any teacher who wasted lesson time discussing this show with my children. I don't wish them to hear teachers' views on matters such as this.

Stick to the curriculum, please!

Politics? Racism? Bullying? I think all three feature in the work of schools. In Scotland we have no curriculum as such. But these three areas are part of the social education of every child.

If you watched the program and didn't follow media hype you would realise that the racism element has been severely overplayed and what's actually on display is just bullying.

People love t put down those they think are inferior, and that what I think is happenning on this blog post, and in it's comments.

Sorry, but either that was racist behaviour/language or it was stupid/ignorant of the world around them or it was both. I was watching as a typed what they said. I don't think of people as inferior, but do think these three have a lot to learn.

From Sam Sethi: Why do racists have low IQs:


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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