Channel 4 yesterday axed one of the Big Brother contestants after she used a racially offensive word to a housemate.
The broadcaster, still reeling from Ofcom’s damning judgment on the way it mishandled the Celebrity Big Brother racism row, was keen to show it had learnt lessons by acting quickly and decisively.
Emily Parr (above), a 19-year-old middle class “indie chick” from Bristol, was dancing with fellow contestants Charley Uchea and Nicky Maxwell when she said to the former: “You pushing it out, you nigger.”
She was challenged by the pair and claimed she was joking, before going on to say it was “not a big deal”. Ms Parr, a college student who listed “ignorant people” as one of her dislikes, said she was “friends with plenty of black people”. She added: “They call me niggers. They call me wiggers as well.”
Henry Bonsu, director of Colourful Radio, a digital station aimed at a black audience, described the incident as a “wake-up” call to young people who think the word is a term of respect of endearment. “Lots of middle-class white girls from the home counties are listening to hip-hop music – it is the dominant street culture, and certain things are deemed to be cool. Perhaps she thought it was legitimate.
“[But] if you think you can gain coolness by using the n-word then you’re in for a rude awakening. People think the word has been denuded of its savage meaning – it hasn’t. And many young people don’t realise this.”
There’s no truth to the rumor, by the way, that Ms. Parr has been invited to audition for WFAN’s morning drivetime vacancy