Grandma's Tales

January 18, 2007

More on Shilpa Shetty

Filed under: Language — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 10:20 pm

Here is the update on the issue:
Channel 4 got 2 million MORE eyeballs since it was accused of allowing/promoting/fomenting racism on screen. I don’t think they are particularly worried about these accusations. What might temporarily worry them is Carphone Warehouse, their sponsors withdrawing their long-standing support for the Celebrity Big Brother show. Chennai 4 did come out with a reply.
“To date there has been no overt racial abuse or racist behaviour directed against Shilpa Shetty within the Big Brother house. However there has undoubtedly been a cultural and class clash between her and three of the British females in the house. Housemates had constant access to support from Big Brother, and Shetty had ‘not voiced any concerns of racial abuse.”
Ok, here are some more (censored) things that her housemates said. Decide for yourself.

[1] “Go back to your slums.”
[2] Shilpa used her fingers to eat. “I don’t know where she put those fingers in.”

Whatever was said has touched a raw nerve in a lot of people. The “lot” amounted to at least 20, 000 complaints to Ofcom, the TV watchdog organisation. Racism is a reality in Britian, whether aired on TV or not.

NDTV had a panel discussion on the issue. Some of the comments.
[1] CBB is a low class programme watched by low class people. (snobbish!)
[2] More serious racist acts are being carried out everywhere. Should one worry about something so trivial as this? (bad logic)
[3] Shilpa Shetty knew what she was getting into. She has an agent, scores of advisors. You can’t get into a bear pit and then complain of scratch marks. (uncharitable)
[4] This IS a manifestation of racism, this is a serious issue. It reflects attitudes in the British society.
[5] Reality shows do not promote bad behaviour. People are supposed to behave normally. (This is normal behaviour?)
[6] Rubbish! This is a contrived show. A dozen people put up in a room watched all the time by cameras is NOT normal.
[7] Shilpa has hit the jackpot. She is a brilliant actor. Look at the way she wiped her tears! She will walk away with the prize!
[8] If she is so cut up, why isn’t she quitting? (money, money, money!)

Watching those clippings, I couldn’t help thinking: Shipa is without doubt the best looking of the lot (all are minor celebs, actors). Understandable, if the three women are a touch jealous. Is this a ploy to evict her from the show?



  1. Hey there, came across this blog while doing a search on this issue.

    I guess this isn’t a problem about Jade or C4, it’s a problem with us as humans.

    C4 is right by going ahead with it’s decision of airing the show and I believe the news channels in India are perhaps tilting a bit towards Shilpa rather than addressing the issue.

    Sponsors may have pulled out, perfumes may be taken off the shelf, but why is an issue that has always plagued us taking center stage just cos of a reality show? Do we really need a TV show to address our problems??

    I hope the people involved will act a bit more maturely and address the issues, rather than going with the public emotions and looking at their own personal gains.

    As for Jade Goody, didn’t really know who she was until I saw her face. The same female from Extreme make over and Jade’s PA. Goes without saying she for one sure needs to star in a TV show where ppl can get their heads fixed up for free.

    Comment by John — January 18, 2007 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

  2. Hi John,
    Thanks for stopping by. While I totally agree with you that it is a problem with us humans (who refuse to grow up) I’m glad that I’ve touched upon most of what you have pointed out.
    C4 will certainly go ahead with the show, sponsor or not. Hey, they are doing well now!
    No, the news channels en masse are NOT tilting towards Shilpa. As I listed in my post, some were very critical of her joining it. Also, why have thousands of white Britishers been critical of the housemates’ behaviour?
    As for acting maturely, I thought Shilpa was dignified in her response, though it could have been out of shock. She knew what she was in for, but probably not the extent, depth and the intensity of the insults.
    Jade Goody, I’m sorry she has to reduce herself to this to earn a living.
    I just asked my husband if he would join the show for the Rs.3 crore on offer. His response: “Why not!”
    Yes, John, we need to address the issues. But issues never surface unless a celebrity is involved, right? Shilpa Shetty is well known here. I’m glad this issue is being debated by so many people now. when did we have such an open, widespread debate about racism?

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — January 19, 2007 @ 8:07 am | Reply

  3. you are from the north-eastern states of the country.

    you walk down a congested delhi street. a passerby stares at you for one long moment. then he grins. and you know quite well that it’s not in mirth. he continues to stare at you in contempt.

    you hail a cab. it’s real tough bargaining over the price. the driver stares at you, deceptiveness written clear in his face.

    then to the bazaar, shopping complex, movies, everywhere – that same look on their faces.

    you know the reason why they keep staring at you. you can perceive them well. and you know quite well that you ain’t an alien. you are an indian. and a human being too.

    you are riding on a blueline bus. the conductor yells out loud, “hey, chinky, bahadur…”

    do you shout back at him: “BIHARIS!” or do you just let it pass, again, as you had been doing over the years?

    but you know, you are pained, deep down your heart. your blood begins to boil.

    damn, how the hell are you gonna have the strength to overcome these??

    in fact, indians are the more aggressive lots than britishers. people from the north-eastern states are being seen as foreigners, or aliens, or nepalis. mainstream indians just don’t accept them as their brothers and sisters, living in one country. multi-culturism, multi-ethnicity and unity-in-diversity don’t seem to go down well with them.

    it’s now time to put a complete “full stop” here, first at home. only then, let’s talk about europe.

    Comment by Haumuanlun Samte — January 19, 2007 @ 9:16 am | Reply

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