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Monday, January 08, 2007

More Big Bother?

A fascinating comment about Celebrity Big Brother appeared on an old post on this blog yesterday. It was from an Al Shabaz:

Jermaine has caused national controversy by openly praying his obligatory five time prayers live on national TV. However Channel Four the Broadcaster has censored any footage of the Former Jackson Five practicing his faith. Outraged muslims have begun to complain on grounds of fair representation as Shilpa Shetty was broadcast practicing Yoga, they are demanding an explanation from Channel four as to why Jermaine praying has been censored. Complaints to Ofcom the body that adjudicates media complaints are set to flood in this monday. Jermaine has begun to attract many thousands of muslim votes.

I have to say that on at least one of the occasions I have seen Celebrity Big Brother this week, Jermaine Jackson was pictured praying. His prayers are hardly comparable to yoga and, in any case, should be a private matter for him, not a spectacle for millions of viewers. I will be astonished if Channel Four has deliberately censored his five times daily prayer sessions as is alleged by the person making this comment.

The comment though does raise a wider matter. Practising Muslims are an established part of our multi-cultural society. It is right that television better reflects that multi-culturalism in its mainstream programming. That is happening slowly and no doubt this trend will continue to develop. However, whether a meaningless light entertainment programme should alter its remit so as to act as the instrument of such a change is a matter for debate.
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