'Big Brother' TV Reality Show has been hit by another race storm but its bosses said Friday they had learnt their lesson from an earlier bruising row involving Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. The station moved promptly to evict drama student Emily Parr, 19, after she called fellow-contestant Charley Uchea a "nigger," reducing her black co-participant to tears.
Parr has since apologized by her behaviour, but insisted that the word was a "friendly term" in Bristol, where she came from. Andy Duncan, the chief executive of Channel 4, the commercial TV station staging Big Brother, said the channel had acted swiftly to evict Parr because it had been accused of failing to do so over Shetty earlier this year.
The Bollywood actress was showered with racial abuse by Jade Goody and other contestants during a 'Celebrity Big Brother' show in January, an episode that made headlines around the world and earned Channel 4 a stern rebuke from the media watchdog Ofcom.
Shetty, who is currently taking part in a festival of Indian film in northern Britain, said Friday, "I'm glad Channel 4 has taken action. Well I'm really happy and I compliment them on the action they have taken."
Britain's Commission for Racial Equality also commended Channel 4 for its "swift removal" of Parr. "While racism is in the ear of the beholder, this word is clearly offensive," the commission said.