Sunday, January 04, 2009

Woot-ton: The CBB "race row" that isn't

Oh, god, they've barely had time to unpack and already there's unpleasantness at the Big Brother house. And, for some reason, Dan Wootton's been put in charge of coverage at the News of the World:

CELEBRITY Big Brother was embroiled in yet another race row last night after gangster rapper Coolio used the racist term n****r - but was NOT disciplined by Channel 4 bosses.

Actually, Dan, it's gangsta rapper and, although it's hard to be certain, Coolio almost certainly said n***a, not n****r. But it is confusing, isn't it, Dan?
The 45-year-old, well known for his hate-filled song lyrics, had been warned by show chiefs not to use inappropriate language before entering the TV house on Friday night.

Coolio is hardly well-known for anything anymore, is he? And "hate-filled song lyrics" is hardly the first phrase that bubbles up when trying to place him.

Of course, it's hard for Dan, who is keen to suggest there's a direct correlation between the way Jade Goody treated Shilpa Shetty and a black Gangsta rapper using "nigga". Since Dan can't be as stupid as to really not understand why one is unacceptable and one disappointing, you'd have to conclude Wootton is attempting to stir a pot.
Last night a TV insider said: "It's as if Channel 4 and Endemol have learnt no lessons from all the previous incidents of racism and appalling behaviour on Big Brother.

"If he's allowed to use that word without any sort of reprimand, what's next? It's absolutely disgusting. What if another housemate uses this kind of language."

Then, presumably, Channel 4 would judge it the context in the same way they've judged this one.

So, Dan, let's get down to it: who did Coolio call a nigga? Actually, nobody - it turns out he was only quoting his subconscious:
After enquiries from the News of the World a spokeswoman last night confirmed Coolio had said the offending word and it had not been broadcast.

She said: "At around 9.20am today, Coolio recounted a vivid dream he experienced overnight in which he had been involved in a fight.

"Coolio used the N-word in his descriptive retelling to Ben. Coolio described how his imaginary adversary called Coolio 'Oh n****r'.

"This was again immediately flagged to senior production staff at Endemol and C4.

"After reviewing the footage, where Ben clearly took no offensive from the use of the word, no other housemates heard the word, the footage was not broadcast to cause offence to viewers and the context that Coolio used the word, no further action was taken.

"As always constant monitoring of any unacceptable language by any housemate is on going and Big Brother is always prepared to remind all housemates of these rules."

The real surprise here is that Channel 4 and Endemol have actually taken a cool-headed, adult and understandable approach to the not-even-quite-an-issue. Still, we'd like to see Dan Wootton go down when Coolio's evicted and tell him off for being a nasty white supremacist.


Anonymous said...

"The 45-year-old, well known for his hate-filled song lyrics"

Why, yes. Such was his reputation as rap's Mr Angry that he was invited to record the outrageous bile-drenched, erm, theme-tune to late-90s Nickelodeon show Keenan and Kel. I believe it was in response to Bill Hicks' guest appearance on Clarissa Explains It All.

Wootton needn't have written so much. I was far more shocked to learn that Coolio is forty-bloody-five. When did that happen?

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Not only 45, but 45 years old, and stood wearing a strange swimmers hat that doesn't quite hide his baldness, cooking steaks at three am in a closed house with Tommy Sheridan. There's a life which you really wouldn't want to flash before your eyes, isn't it?

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