Shilpa faces racist abuse on UK show | india | Hindustan Times
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Shilpa faces racist abuse on UK show

Asians in the UK are livid at the ?racist? treatment meted out to actress Shilpa Shetty on reality show Celebrity Big Brother. In the last few days she has been called a ?dog? and a ?Paki? by fellow participants.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2007 02:50 IST
Vijay Dutt

Asians in the UK are livid at the “racist” treatment meted out to actress Shilpa Shetty on reality show Celebrity Big Brother. In the last few days she has been called a “dog” and a  “Paki” by fellow participants.

Asian and British viewers have flooded Channel 4, which airs the show, with complaints. British media regulator Ofcom had till Tuesday received over 2,000 protest letters.

Most of them termed reality TV star Jade Goody, former beauty queen Danielle Lloyd and singer-actress Jo O’Meara — all participants on the show — as racist. “We will look into each complaint,” said a spokesperson for Ofcom, which has asked for unedited tapes of the show.

It was initially thought that Shilpa was targeted because she was being paid more — $680,000 (Rs 3.5 crore) as against the standard fee of $610,000 (Rs 3 crore) — than anyone else. She had also become a media darling overnight.

Jade’s mother Jackiey started it all, allege viewers. “She could not pronounce Shilpa’s name and started calling her ‘Sipla’, then started sarcastically calling her ‘princess’ and ended up referring to her as ‘the Indian’,” Girish Sanger, a top hotelier, told HT.

Though Jackiey has been voted out of the show, the comments continue. “Once when Shilpa cooked chicken, Danielle refused to touch it. Another comment was ‘How do Indians eat with their fingers? You don’t know where their fingers have been’,” said Sanger.

Jade was censured by anti-bully charity Act  Against Bullying, which, ironically, she supports. Dropping her picture from its website, the charity said Jade’s behaviour was “unforgivable”.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “We confirm that housemate Jack Tweed used a (foul) word, which was bleeped out.” He stressed that the complaints were being taken seriously.

Sunanda, Shilpa’s mother, said: “I hope Shilpa will handle the situation. It is a game and there is life beyond that.”