Big bother

Isn't it amazing what some celebrities will do when cut off from their professional advisors? Any competent PR professional would have advised Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara that injecting even a hint of racism into their comments would be a career limiting, if not career ending, move. Today's media is very unforgiving of racism and considers it worse than the taint of homophobia which hugely damaged Jason Donovan's career.

The root cause of this row appears to be only partly racial. What we see is three minor celebrities of less than mediocre intelligence and education frustrated by their inability to cope with someone of far greater accomplishment. They mock her Indian acent, though her accent is slight and her enunciation clearer than theirs. What really frustrates them is that her vocabularly dwarfs theirs, despite the fact that English is her second - if not her third of fourth - language.

Wanting to reject the person who is different they latch on to the superficial things - like her skin colour, eating habits, and accent - because they are afraid to address the things that really make them uneasy. Goody lashes out claiming that "she thinks she's better than me", when she really means "I think she's smarter than me".

Unable to absorb media coverage or to contact their no doubt frantic advisors the three are sinking further into the mire and do not even know it yet. Goody is famous for being famous. When the media appearances dry up she will disappear. The other two entered 'Celebrity Big Brother' hoping to relaunch stalled careers. They have added to their fame but probably ended their careers.

Channel Four executives are able to relax. The controversy has brought them new viewers. For them, there really is no such thing as bad publicity. For those dependent on the goodwill of the media this is not so, as Goody, O'Meara and Lloyd will soon discover. A year from now Shilpa Shetty will be starring in a major movie. If Goody, O\'Meara and Lloyd lack the sense to retrain as data entry clerks or hairdressers they will be begging for parts in regional panto.

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