Black TV presenter called a ‘nigger’ at the Baftas

Celebrity hairdresser James Brown

Black television presenter Ben Douglas was left furious when celebrity hairdresser James Brown referred to his female companion and himself as niggers in a drunken tirade at the Baftas.

Ben Douglas, was left furious after celebrity hairdresser James Brown addressed him and his female companion by the term nigger in a drunken tirade at the Baftas.

According to the Mail Online report (‘I’m so sorry’: Celebrity hairdresser James Brown grovels for drunken N-word rant at the Baftas: 30 May 2011) Brown said “You’re a nigger’s bitch, that’s what you are”, to Douglas’s female companion, and when challenged verbally by Douglas kept referring to him as a ‘nigger’.

Douglas told the Mail on Sunday (I’m from Surrey, not Harlem. How dare a white, middle-class friend of Kate Moss call me the N-word eight times, says TV presenter Ben Douglas: Ben Douglas: 29 May 2011) “…even when challenged, rather than back-pedalling and apologising for any offence, he launched into a pathetic, garbled attempt at street slang self-justification.”

Brown attempted to justify his usage of the N word by claiming he new “brothers” in New York and that some of his cousins had been with black people which shocked Douglas even more.

Douglas refused to name Brown as the perpetrator to the newspaper because he did not feel that destroying his career would be the way forward, however Brown did come forward the next day and apologised to Douglas and his companion, as well as the Baftas, blaming his behaviour on drink.

A derogatory term given a new lease of life by black rappers

Brown was under the delusion that he was being ‘street’ when he used the term ‘nigger’, whether he meant to use the term with a racially derogatory intent is debatable, however it raises an important issue regarding the use of the term by black rap artists and musicians.

Rappers say they have reclaimed the word ‘nigger’ as a means of empowerment, but all they have done is given a new lease of life to an insulting term for black people. There are many white individuals like Brown who believe they can use the term without offence, and some may even want to offend but can now hide behind the argument that is the language of the ‘street’. Even if black rappers say that the term should not be used by white people, that admission in itself contradicts their claim that they have made the term their own.

The term ‘nigger’ belongs in the era of slavery and not in modern day language no matter how much some rappers may claim to have changed its meaning.

A pattern of racial abuse among white celebrities

The revelations of Brown, despite his apology raises troubling questions about white celebrities who we are portrayed by the mainstream media as liberal and non racist, but this could not be farther from the truth.

In December 2010, Channel 4 was condemned after comedian Frankie Boyle used both the terms “Nigger” and “Paki” in his comedy programme Tramadol Nights. (Read Channel 4 condemned for comedian’s race ’satire’)

In February, 2009 Carol Thatcher, daughter of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was sacked by the BBC for referring to a tennis player as a ‘golliwog’. (BBC: Thatcher axed by BBC’s One Show: 4 February 2009)

In October 2009, The BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing came under fire from anti racist campaigners after Anton De Beke referred to his dance partner Laila Rouass as a “Paki” and a terrorist. Du Beke, who hosted the Saturday game show Hole in the Wall, was overheard by at least 15 other people referring to former Footballer Wives’ actress Laila Rouass as a “Paki” when she had put on a spray tan. He said that he spoke in jest and claimed not to be a racist. (Daily Mirror: Nicola Methven and Steve Myall: Anton Du Beke should be sacked after Paki comment, say anti-racism campaigners: 5 October 2009)

When you also take into consideration that Australian actor Mel Gibson, singer Miley Cyrus and previous X Factor presenter Danni Minogue have all been involved in racist scandal, racism amongst white celebrities may be more pervasive than is reported in the media. (Read Actor Mel Gibson’s racist comments caught on tape)

For more research:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1392430/Hairdresser-James-Brown-grovels-drunken-N-word-Barftas-rant-Ben-Douglas.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1391971/Ben-Douglas-A-white-middle-class-friend-Kate-Moss-called-N-word-times.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7868401.stm

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/10/05/anton-du-beke-should-be-sacked-after-paki-comment-say-anti-racism-campaigners-115875-21723171/


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1 Response to Black TV presenter called a ‘nigger’ at the Baftas

  1. nazir says:

    The media in the West only condemn people who make anti semitic comments (rightly so). UK movies, tv soaps and drama’s very rarely use the N word, they are scared to offend black people! But this courtesy is not given to Asians. I have noticed that the P word is frequently used in all genres and in some cases four or five times in the same sentence. The P word seems to give great cheer to writers. I am disgusted by this unfair over use of the P word. Script writers and comedians need to stop using the P word it is just as offensive as the N word.

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