Big Brother is a highly gendered and problematic term; it also refers to the semi-divine leader of The Party in George Orwell's 1984. For the last 19 years, it heralded a reality TV show that shut some ordinary people in isolation from the modern world, letting the masses of other average TV viewing people watch all the while.
Originally conceived as a social/psychological experiment by TV producers in The Netherlands, networks across the world took on the simple yet compelling theme. It was not long before many countries began toying with the format, the most popular alteration being a celebrity version. Initially, the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother aired in aid of British charity, Comic Relief and since its first outing in 2001, has proved perhaps even more controversial than the civilian version.
In 2007, the fifth series of Celebrity Big Brother aired, and it proved the most contentious instalment yet. The late Jade Goody's removal for perceived racism against Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, destroyed the Londoner's celebrity that Big Brother created. The easily burst bubble of fame shattered by the mainstream media's design; fabricating a racism narrative over careless remarks from Goody (giving an Indian a surname like "Poppadom" when one has forgotten said Indian's surname and has said it in anger, does not constitute racism - a poppadom is an Indian foodstuff after all).
11 years after this manufactured media meleé, the Big Brother house wound up in another drama, this one originating with a housemate. Celebrity Big Brother has limped along until this point and January's iteration suffered finale viewing figures of barely over a million, mainly because producers drenched the programme in social justice. So dire was their "get woke, go broke" situation that people doubted Celebrity Big Brother would return, but it did, and their "Eye of the Storm" theme delivered reality TV best. Until the vileness of false accusation unfolded.
In a melodrama worthy of a soap opera, former British soap star of Coronation Street, Ryan Thomas, indulged in a little play fighting. He shadow-boxed around another former soap star (of British soap Emmerdale) Roxanne Pallett, who appeared to take the horseplay in good humour initially. Moments later, Pallett entered the Diary Room and asked to speak to one of the producers and over the course of several meetings in the Diary Room, proceeded to accuse Thomas of punching her several times in the ribs. The producers issued Ryan Thomas with a formal warning, and Roxanne further informed another housemate, Ben - whom she had grown close to, despite her having a fiance outside.
Rumour spread and got met with scepticism by some, who professed that if Ryan had genuinely assaulted Roxanne, the producers would have removed him instantly. A massive public backlash ensued where the public knew Roxanne lied about the attack and following Roxanne hearing loud chants to get her out (while cheering for Ryan) when her puppet Ben was evicted, led her to quit the house. But not before the weight of such allegations reduced Ryan to an emotional wreck; he needed to defend his actions before all of the other shocked men in the house... so much for Patriarchy excusing violence against women.
Thankfully this incident occurred in a house rigged with cameras, making it more like a set. For this reason, everyone could witness the true nature of her lies; however, imagine the fallout if no footage existed? January's edition of Celebrity Big Brother's accompanying slogan and theme was: "Year of the Woman." Social justice topics got trawled out for the women to discuss - who went in first before men entered - and a Drag Queen won (Courteney Act - not satisfied with the mere job of Drag Queen, she's pansexual and gender fluid of course). The Drag Queen also had a friendship with a straight male housemate who, formulaically, felt attracted to 'her' when 'she' wore Drag.
Right out of the same playbook, grievance feminism allowed a woman to think she could concoct a story of abuse. Ostensibly over a slight a decade earlier where Ryan Thomas mentioned that Roxanne Palette wore the same dress as his girlfriend at the time, to an awards show. A powerful victimhood narrative, nurtured by feminism, permits a woman with glaring sociopathic traits to try and defame a man who ever-so-slightly slighted her years ago. Roxanne Pallett even said tearfully around the other male housemates: "this is why women are not believed," despite them all believing her at first. Her failure to remember that cameras are everywhere in the Big Brother House failed her and social justice. It exemplifies "get woke, go broke," too; Roxanne Palette already getting dropped from the cast of an upcoming Christmas pantomime. All down to her failure to maintain honesty in front of an all-seeing eye of a reality TV house...
"As long everybody is filming everybody else, justice will be done!" - Marge Simpson.