Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Chloe Goodman, Jeremy Jackson and Ken Morley - Celebrity Big Brother: a sorry tale of victim blame

I wanted to write something about Celebrity Big brother (no really!) which is currently running in the UK with the usual mix of outspoken media motormouths (Katie Hopkins), minor American reality TV stars, national treasures and glamour models. We are only a week in and already two people have been ejected for breaking the rules. Only we are not talking 'trying to escape into the camera run' style rule-breaking, this time it's serious.

The main action has been centred around three people: British Glamour Model and Cameron Diaz bum model - Chloe Goodman (never heard of her before this series), former child actor and American bad boy - Jeremy Jackson (Never watched Baywatch so no idea who he is) and elderly former coronation street actor - Ken Morley. It is Ken Morley and Jeremy Jackson who have been ejected (at separate times) and here is a brief description of why.

Jeremy Jackson was ejected for indecently assaulting Chloe Goodman by opening her dressing gown while she tried to help him after he had vomited in the toilet.

Ken Morley was ejected for failing to heed an official warning about his offensive racist and sexist language.

So... After Chloe Goodman was assaulted, and clearly upset by the fact that someone attempted to remove her clothing without her consent, the producers at channel 5 provided Jeremy Jackson with a single room in another part of the studio (House) while they decided what the appropriate response to the assault should be. This was after they had spoken to a clearly upset and tearful Chloe Goodman and then, maybe because there are two sides to every story or maybe because they had to check with that person who had assaulted her that she wasn't lying, to Jeremy Jackson - both in the Diary room, which was then broadcast to the viewers.

Meanwhile in the house several of the housemates were doing a very good job of minimising the assault and the resulting distress and shock of the victim. While Nadia Sawalha (Actress) did a sterling job of calming Chloe down and getting her help, the men of the house questioned Jackson who justified it as 'curiosity killed the cat' saying that he believed she had a swimming suit on underneath. Callum Best repeatedly advised 'don't make it worse than it is' because clearly, in his mind, it wasn't that bad a thing. As this was playing out Chloe tearfully told Big brother 'I know I have done page three and things, it's a little bit different when it's someone you don't know too well, not that it would be ok for anyone to do that to me' and 'I know I have done page 3 but that was my choice, Jeremy opening up my dressing gown was NOT MY CHOICE'.

In the bedroom Drama Queen Perez Hilton was just about the only person not defending Jackson, though it's hard to tell if his intentions were good. Jeremy Jackson was blaming the alcohol and describing the incident as 'a young girl in there, although I said no I am fine I don't need help, bending over my face in a robe with boobs in my face who happened to have a few malfunctions accidentally and I thought is this another malfunction does she have a bikini on or is she trying to make a pass at me and when I grabbed the tip of her robe to see, she's naked. Why come into a private room with me naked?'

So why did she come into the room? No other reason than to help out another housemate who had an alcoholic past and was throwing up in the toilet. Not to mention the fact that at least two other women were in the room at various points. Oh yes, and SHE WAS NOT NAKED, she was wearing a dressing gown which he then attempted to remove because

A. She is a young girl. (NB she is a 21 year old woman.)
B. She is in a room alone with him
C. He accidentally saw some of her flesh

REALLY? yes really.

But it does not end there. When called to the Diary room to explain himself Jeremy blamed the alcohol and said 'Chloe insisted on coming in and helping me and potentially because of the alcoholic beverages and potentially just out of innocence, curiosity, I was silly enough or bold enough or dumb enough to lift her robe as she was leaning in my face asking me if I was OK or whatever, it just seemed like flirtation to me' Asked if it was acceptable to lift a woman's road he finally conceded it was not acceptable but just a mistake.

A mistake to think that a person coming to your aid while you vomit in a toilet is flirtation. A mistake which at least two other women made but were not subjected to the same treatment.

Later, after Jeremy had been put to bed in another room Ken Morley gave the following advice to Chloe 'you know that Jeremy is a Jewish film producer from New York so don't fuck yourself completely... you know what I am saying... within circles within circles'.

Yep. He did.

Then he asked another older female housemate if she would violently fuck Calum Best. Yes. He. Did.

The next day Ken Morley was given a warning about his racist language, then spoken to about his comments about some of the women in the house including calling a housemate a 'half-slut'. Jeremy Jackson was then removed from the house for wholly unacceptable behaviour. his response was to apologise and insist 'that it was not a ripping open or aggressive move'. He left - on Monday 12th January he was Given a Caution for common assault by Hertfordshire Police.

Ken Morley spent part of the day asking the assault victim, Chloe, where Jeremy Jackson was despite knowing that he had been removed temporarily from the house. When Big brother formally announced it later Ken's response was 'bollox' then 'fuck yourself'.

Chloe was then called to the Diary Room where she said she really liked Jeremy and was upset that he mistook kindness for weakness but that she didn't want it to look like she purposely wanted to get him out of the house. Typically she felt like she had to start minimising what had happened, until Big Brother confirmed to her that she had done nothing wrong. Of course, one of the female housemates then pointed out to Chloe that Jeremy was drunk when he 'did your thing' - minimising once again.

Later, during a Big Brother task Ken Morley was at it again - asking Chloe about being Cameron Diaz's bum double 'Since I have been eviscerated recently for making a remark about women's arses, how come you have made such a profession of revealing yours (Bum)' because clearly Ken thinks that if you show your arse, even professionally, you're fair game. Chloe responded with 'So when I decide I am comfortable to do something under certain circumstances I am OK with that because it's under my control, when somebody else does it for me that's when the shit hits the fan'.

In the diary room he described the situation as ' a boring boring political correctness that's arrived all of a sudden like a latter day Victorianism'.

He later talked to Chloe about the incident with Jeremy saying the implications for Jeremy and her were serious - 'you go into a room with a person that you only know slightly wearing nothing but a robe, I think that's dodgy... it's dangerous...  in a way it's slightly naive' other people minimised it by saying that at 21 Chloe wouldn't know any better (!!) . When confronted about his behaviour by some of the other women in the house and asked about his behaviour and if it was disrespectful, he excused it as being part of the game, as psychological warfare.  Cue Big Brother showing footage of Alexander O'Neal telling Chloe not to get dressed in a certain way saying 'you don't give no man a chance'. It's almost like with every terrible thing a man says they are compelled to show another way in which a female housemate is 'doing it wrong'.

They eventually threw Ken out for his racist comment about Frank Bruno 'Do you think you could turn those Negro rhythms down'.

I really want to take a look at past Big brothers and see what kind of bad behaviour was ignored by Big brother in the past. I have a feeling that I'd be shocked.

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