A white, female working class version of Cat Stevens on our TV screens? Nah fanks!


One of my students asked me the other day what I think of Big Brother and I was lost for words. Beyond an obvious abhorrence of racism, a vague level of contempt for the increasingly hysterical promotion of this story on the front of the tabloids and the free ‘grab-em-while-they’re-shit!’ rags, and a sense that the girl who apparently just got voted out is being made into a bit of a sacrificial cow for all things nasty and working class, I don’t have much of an opinion.

However, I was very interested to read on the Guardian site that Channel 4 apparently edited out the footage of one of the white working class characters performing Muslim prayers. Evidently the notion of a white working class Muslim was so unthinkable that it could not be broadcast, presumably not fitting inside the very limited framework that the programme (and TV in general these days, in my opinion) provides. This incident tells us more about the programme than any other, and I sincerely hope to see effigies of those responsible burnt in genuinely angry demonstations around the Muslim world, rather than in protests staged for the benefits of Western TV cameras, which is what I suspect we saw this week in India.

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