The Racism Controversy involving Shilpa Shetty in the Celebrity Big Brother UK Show
Like the Gandhi pole dancing video controversy, this Shilpa Shetty racism controversy also seems to be an issue where the media created a 'baat ka bhatangar' ( mountain out of a mole hill). The media has succeeded in getting everyone's attention and creating a talking point out of nothing as usual. The term 'outrage' is always useful in selling tabloids and increasing television ratings.
Far from racism this Shilpa Shetty Celebrity Big Brother case seems to be more an issue of harmless bullying. Everyone does it at sometime or the other - maybe to classmates, colleagues, siblings or people in the bus. Bullying comments can refer to anything under the sun - features, height, built, religion, race, language, region, accent, hair color, clothes or family status. Poking fun at people is common - if you are on the recieving end you just have to say something more clever or meaner back ! That's life.
In kindergarten I used to get picked on by kids you were jealous my Dad used to drop me off to class while they had to take the bus. In eight grade, it was me who made kids cry by saying real mean things about thier fatness or choice of hair style. Bullying is caused by a feeling of jealousy. Among girls, the main victims are those who are prettier, smarter and attract the attention of males. Guys are usully not aware of the mean fights for them. Infact, in most reality shows you will always see women voting off or nominating more attractive women. Girls never get together to vote off guys. Other reasons why people are bullied are because of their better job, education, popularity, luck, fancy car or whatever. Bullying continues as long as you don't say anything back. In Shilpa Shetty's case the bullying was there for everyone to see on international television.
No idea why folks are saying that Shilpa Shetty 'did'nt need to be' on the show. Why should she give up such a huge chance to gain big money and publicity. She reportedly got 350,000 pounds to be on the 'Big Brother' reality show which equals to a huge 3,04,50,000 Indian Rupees. This is more than three times what she makes per Bollywood Film. Most of Shilpa Shetty's recent films have flopped at the box office like Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar. With Big Brother, she has a chance to win more cash if she stays on till the end. With the large population of Indians in Britain rooting for her, she can easily get her 'enemies' voted off the show. The publicity may also help her get high paying assignments abroad. Why should she stick to India for pride if millions of Indians are leaving for better opportunities abroad?
So what if a few folks said some annoying stuff. Shilpa Shetty is a grown up woman and not an innocent school kid who should sob in the corner. She should give as good as she gets. After all, Big Brother is a reality show known for contestants saying odd, treacherous statements that cause 'conflict' and others trying to gain public sympathy. This is the selling point of the show and the main reason why it is popular worldwide. Shilpa Shetty surely must have seen the Indian Version of the show 'Big Boss' and learnt something, else it would'nt have been Goody but she who was voted out.
More irritating than the media reports about the so called 'racist' comments against Shilpa Shetty are the behavior of politicians and certain social groups who are trying to gain mileage from this non issue. Sponsors withdrew, MP Keith Vaz tabled a motion in British Parliament , naked PETA activists protested, Indian tourism department came up with a silly ad on Jade Goody, bottles of Goody's Shhh perfume were broken and effergies were burnt in Bihar by local political parties - Really, what a circus !
So what do you think about the Shilpa Shetty Big Brother Controversy?