Jade Goody fans were feeling “uncomfortable” while watching the latest instalment of Channel 4’s documentary series Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain as it aired scenes from her infamous Celebrity Big Brother spat with Shilpa Shetty in 2007.
The second episode of the three-part series showed clips of Goody, S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara and glamour model Danielle Lloyd “forming a gang” against the Bollywood actor.
At the time, the trio were accused of racism; allegations that were escalated when Goody was caught on camera ridiculing Shetty for bleaching her facial hair and calling her “Shilpa Poppadom.”
“There was mimicking of accents,” Big Brother creative director Phil Edgar-Jones recalled. “There’s a kind of low-level racism, I suppose you’d call it at that point.
“It wasn’t good. We started to get complaints.”
Viewers shared their thoughts on Twitter on Wednesday, 14 August defending Goody and criticising Channel 4 for handling the situation “really badly” at the time.
“This is an uncomfortable watch a second time round. I’m not convinced she was ever racist, uneducated an ill informed & used by the media. Reality TV has got a lot to answer for,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another added: “Watching the #JadeGoody story is so sad and how different things were in 2007 it was so uncomfortable to watch again and handled really badly by channel 4 at the time. It’s such a sad story if only she was here today.’
“Just cried watching the second episode of #jadegoody documentary the way she was slaughtered via the media and the public was just awful to try and push a person to the edge,” a third tweeted.
“She was just a young uneducated girl who didn't realise the impact of the words she used.”
“People will disagree but I still don’t think Jade was racist,” said a fourth. “Uneducated and ignorant yes and from a completely different background. Not that it was excusable but at the end of the day, she was a vulnerable woman in a new style media storm.”
I think the directors of BB threw her under a bus. So Hard to watch.
She shouldn't of said what she did, she had two others goading her who got off very lightly with their bullying. The media can be a deadly menace who are also equally unanswerable #JadeGoody
— McCormicksGogglebox (@McCormicksGogg1) August 14, 2019
Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain - which tracks Goody’s troubled childhood, rise to fame and ultimate downfall before passing away from cervical cancer in 2009 - concludes next week.