So concerned am I that Celebrity Big Brother is sending out a deeply negative message – that bullying is OK – I rang the National Bullying Helpline and spoke to the founder, Christine Pratt. In the CBB house, Katie Hopkins and Perez have behaved equally badly, and both have made threats of anal rape. (obviously not to be taken seriously). But Hopkins is mobilising the housemates to gang up and isolate Perez. (Perez has been continually disciplined by CBB. Hopkins though has escaped scot free, and is lauded by ITV presenters.)I was told by another well known bullying organisation,who asked not to be named as they have not seen the programme, that such behaviour is never ever acceptable, under any circumstances. By not restraining Hopkins in any way, I believe CBB are targeting Perez.
Mrs. Pratt told me that if the behaviour in the Big Brother house was duplicated in the workplace it would be collective bullying, and Perez could make a legal complaint against Channel 5. However, since this is a reality show, it is a more nebulous area. (Katie Hopkins’ lynch mob is against the CBB house rules. I am hoping Perez can still sue.)
My main concern is that Channel 5 is sending out the toxic messsage that it is OK to sexually harass others through remarks such as “You have a tiny penis” (said repeatedly on air by Hopkins) and to isolate and bully others. Mrs. Pratt agreed with me, but said if I complained to Channel 5, they would probably just tell me to switch off.
When I raised the really important point, that they are glorifying bullying and using such well known characters as Eamonn Holmes and Philip Schofield to help them, both of whom have endorsed Hopkins, she said Channel 5 didn’t care.
All the producers cared about, said Mrs. Pratt, was money and ratings. So if they are contributing to the moral decline of the nation, glamorising unpleasant characters such as Katie Hopkins and causing untold hurt to the vulnerable because they have sent bullies the message that ganging up is OK they don’t give a flying f…..
So now we know.