JASMINE BRAITHWAITE

Celebrity Big Brother is back on our television screens and in less than a week it has been rocked by more drama than Downton Abbey. It was quite surprising just how quickly tensions rose in the house full of ‘celebrities’.

On Wednesday 7th January the House in Borehamwood welcomed among others the likes of actress Patsy Kensit, actor Ken Morley, former ‘Baywatch’ star Jeremy Jackson, and the infamous Katie Hopkins.

On Monday 12th January, Ken Morley became the second housemate in two days to be removed from the house. This was after a tirade of racial and sexist slurs which, for obvious reasons, did not go down well with his fellow housemates. However, there are now viewers calling out against the decision, supporting Ken’s right to freedom of expression.

While I found Ken’s comments about black people, the Irish and women to be vile, tasteless and frankly, uncomfortable to watch, I was not sure Big Brother made the correct decision in removing him from our TV screens. I also believe that he should have been left to remain in the house, unless housemates asked Big Brother to remove him. This is because Ken Morley should have been able to face the consequences of his words from the people who were affected by them.

His comments exposed the fact that racism and sexism are in fact still prevalent in today’s society, and they also exposed more about his character than I’m sure we would have liked to know. Although he was clearly joking with some slurs, his comfort and ease with saying these jokes to his housemates with no hesitation or thought for their opinion made for pretty uncomfortable viewing.

After singer Alexander O’Neal was called a n*gro by Morley, he was immediately warned by both McNeil and Big Brother to not use that word again. By repeating it when talking about the boxer Frank Bruno, it showed that he felt that kind of language was still acceptable.

However, I believe that being ostracized or rejected by his fellow housemates would have taught him more of a lesson than simply forcing him out of the environment – something which he allegedly wanted to do anyway. By giving Ken what he said he wanted, they’re only reinforcing his unacceptable behavior, and doing nothing to teach him the error of his ways.