Thursday, January 18, 2007

Time for Britain to Apologize

Shilpa ShettyShilpa Shetty, the actress pictured at right, is new to me, but she’s a big star in India, and has appeared in a number of Bollywood productions.

And now Channel 4 — the UK television network which broadcast the undercover mosque report earlier this week — is in hot water because of what happened on to Ms. Shetty on one of its television programs. It seems that the Indian actress was the victim of “racism” while she was a participant in the popular reality TV show, “Big Brother.”

It may well be time for Britain to apologize for its racist behavior towards India. According to this Fox News report:

LONDON — Tony Blair and Gordon Brown mounted a diplomatic offensive to protect Britain’s reputation in India and the sub-continent yesterday as a television racism row grew into an international crisis.

India threatened to make a formal protest about the racist bullying of the Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on the reality show Celebrity Big Brother.

Effigies of the show’s organisers were burnt and in Britain there were 22,000 complaints to Ofcom. The Channel 4 program had become the most complained about in the broadcasting watchdog’s history.

Brown, who is on his first visit to India, described the comments on the show as offensive and condemned anything that harmed Britain’s reputation as a tolerant country.

So what was the awful racist insult that Ms. Shetty experienced at the hands of her bullying fellow contestants?

Three of Shetty’s housemates, including Jade Goody, her principal tormentor, are alleged to have taunted her because she is Indian, including making gibes about her cooking, suggesting that she was dirty, imitating her accent and asking whether she lived in a shack.

Shetty and Goody exchanged insults again last night after Goody accused Shetty of being a “princess” and thinking that she was better than others. Shetty replied: “Oh please, learn some manners. You know what you need? You need elocution classes, Jade.” Later, Goody said: “Go back to the slums and find out what real life is about lady.”

Before I get myself in trouble again, I must emphasize that I find the above comments boorish, tasteless, and unwarranted. But do they constitute a crisis in international relations? Should they be a casus belli between Great Britain and the former Crown Jewel of the British Empire?

Ms. Shetty is not some waif just in off the streets — she’s a big-time movie star with major resources and a wealth of experience in public relations. Can’t she just let this one roll off her back?
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Apparently not, and Tony Blair is right in there with her, ready to pick up the sword of St. George and slay the dragon of racism:

Blair said little initially. Questioned in the Commons, he said that MPs should oppose racism in all its forms. But after protests poured in he authorised a No. 10 statement saying that Britain would not tolerate racism in any way. His spokesman said: “What clearly is to be regretted and countered is if there is any perception abroad that in any way we tolerate racism in this country.

“What the response to the program has shown is precisely the opposite — that there is no level of toleration in this country for anything which, rightly or wrongly, is perceived to be racist. The message should go out loud and clear that we are a tolerant country and we will not tolerate racism in any way.”

There’s no First Amendment in Britain, and plenty of laws against racist speech, so I assume he intends to bring the full power of the state down on Channel 4. That will make a pretty picture, especially in the wake of all those sound bites on the same channel of hateful imams raging against the filthy Jews and kuffar.

Britain is only a generation or so away from the “wogs” and “fuzzy-wuzzies” type of humor in its public culture. Yet the government expects to cleanse the population of such atavistic sentiments all at once, by administrative fiat.

It would be laughable if Britain were not facing a looming cultural disaster at the hands of Islamic zealots. When sharia takes over on the nook-shotten isle of Albion, Ms. Shetty will no longer have to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous racists on reality TV, because there will be no more reality TV, and no more shameless infidel women in their scanty outfits.

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The right to offend others is a cherished American tradition. I’m going to exercise it here once again, in an equal-opportunity fashion, by reprising a classic ditty from the Firesign Theatre, who answer the question What Makes America Great?

It’s candied apples and ponies with dapples
you can ride all day!
It’s girls with pimples and cripples with dimples
that just won’t go away!

It’s spics and wops and niggers and kikes
with noses as long as your arm!
It’s micks and chinks and gooks and geeks
and honkies (Honk! Honk!) who never left the farm!

And now here’s the renowned Yippie and gonzo musician Ed Sanders with the Johnny Pissoff Credo [I used to have a link for this, but it’s no longer extant]:

I, Jonathan Abner Tobias Pissoff, in the presence of the
Universal God of Salvation, do solemnly affirm that I’ve
been chosen to beat up queers! I further affirm that although
I’m a decent god-fearing man with family and propitty,
Wellll ah, Ah wanna kill-rape-ravage-plunder-pillage-stomp
devour-destroy-hack-smash-blast-blesh-and bash, heh-heh!
All queers, commies sheenies howlies and honkies
All greaseballs, mockies, pollacks, lepers and litvacks
All bohunks, eggheads, fudgesickles an’ high-slants
All poets, micks, frogs, queers, peace-creeps, cajuns,
Dwarfs, dipshits, an’ teenage loose women!
In the name of Jesus Christ, this I do affirm.

Are we offended yet?


scrilla said...

Shetty and Goody exchanged insults again last night after Goody accused Shetty of being a “princess” and thinking that she was better than others.

this is probably an accurate description of most indian women, esp brits.

brett_mcs said...

Does anyone think that C4 is getting criticised so heavily over Big Brother as a sort of proxy for getting back at it for that other, unmentionable, program?

Wally Ballou said...

Couldn't just be a publiicty stunt gone haywire, could it? Shetty has now withdrawn her accusation of racism.

The indian press is notoriously faddish and sensational.

How about that classy British television? A lot of people still think the yanks invented trash culture, but hideous game shows and "reality" programming are far more developed in the UK, Europe, and Japan.

And brett, do I think the Indian press and government is trying to get back indirectly at Channel 4 for crticizing muslims? Uh, no.

Wally Ballou said...

"Ms. Shetty is not some waif just in off the streets — she’s a big-time movie star with major resources and a wealth of experience in public relations. Can’t she just let this one roll off her back?"

PR is why she did it. BB is a competition, and her odds of winning have just gone way up. The ratings for the show have incidentally gone through the roof. Now that "Jade" has been forced to apologize, and Shetty has withdrawn the charge of racism (she now describes it as a "cultural clash"), the British legal liability has disappeared. I take it back about this being a publicity stunt "gone wrong". It went exactly according to plan.

Epaminondas said...

If this is anything it's the 24 hour news cycle voraciously sucking the life out of earth. If she is a big star, then why should she care or be insulted by some classless putz on a reality show?

Just imagine what large people would do to Simon Cowell on American Idol?

The key question it would seem to me, is what did the show producers do?

Were I them, I'd simply have had a discliamer saying , 'hey, classless idiots don't represent us or this show, or this nation, but this is a reality show, and it is what it is ..we reject this moron's words, but everyone take heed'

X said...

For the record, she doesn't think it's racism, just mindless stupidity. Mindlessly stupid is a fairly good description of jane goody anyway. She's never done anything remotely worthwhile as far as I can remember, except be brutish and shallow and get her face plastered all over anything. She's a "chav" that the media have adopted like some sort of performing monkey.

Anonymous said...

Here is an excerpt from a letter in today's National Post (Canada) about this issue:

"As an upper-caste Hindu, perhaps she is just getting a dose of her own medicine, considering the way that upper-caste Hindus in India, have treated the lowest caste, referred to as the Untouchables, since time immemorial."


You are absolutely correct about foreign "reality television". The odd Italian shows I've came across are absolutely brain dead and the Japanese - well let's just say one featured women wrapped in toilet paper (wearing only panties) were the target of water cannons fired by men in the audience. I think we know what happens to the toilet tissue when soaked.

OMMAG said...

Did anyone mention that it's just a freeking TV show?? For chrisakes! ;)

dirty dingus said...

Jade wossname is the sort of woman that gives Essex girls a bad name. I'm fairly sure that the remarks made by her and the other D-grade celebs were due primarily to jealousy because Shilpa Shetty is far more attractive, intelligent, accomplished than they are and almost certainly richer too.

I see no reason why "England" should apologise, I do see good reason why England should be embarrassed to have such blithering idiots considered to be "celebrities" or worthy of any more attention than a swift boot up the backside.

dirty dingus said...

PS this is a very good blog post on the whole thing

Rebel Radius said...

Who gives a damn and who are the mindless amoeba's who watch this shit?

KG said...

Crap. Storm. Teacup.

Zerosumgame said...

Living for years in New Jersey in a town with a large Indian Community, I have encountered several who lived in the UK before coming to America, and every single one mentioned how much less racist Americans are about Indian immigrants than are Brits.

Gordon Pasha said...

Why should that little princess resist playing the victim card when it works for everyone else?

john b's excerpt from the NatPost is right on. I might feel sorry for the little princess on the day when she sits down for tea with a family of untouchables.

Anyone who participates in such a show deserves to be insulted.

Flanders Fields said...

England's multiculturalists, including pandering politicians, continue to assail the British people. They do so in combination with the minorities and immigrants. The same cabal is successful in most parts of Europe and use the slightest "offense" to build another wall to freedom for their own people. It is only when the public is aware of full facts surrounding "incidents of hate" that the Multicult coalition are forced to back away.

In the USA, similarly allied groups change tradional culture and laws with impunity. Here it has been slower but we are fast approaching dilution of anything recognized as national integrity. We notice the cultural but pay less attention to legal erosions of traditional society's rights. The press and media in general have been an active participants in diverting attention from the process being used.

melonie said...

All contrived to bury what should have been the BIGGER story.

Bet the politicians are wiping their brows with relief, and patting themselves on the back for being so clever.

Silly Brits (I am one), they haven't a clue.