Wendy Richard’s Big Brother Upset

Hello and welcome to A Slice Of Soap.

Hey guys, seeing as it’s the Big Brother final tonight, I thought we’d go with a story that’s been on everyone’s lips over the past few days… yes, I refer to the comments made by ex-EastEnders star Wendy Richard. As we all know by now, there’s been lots of headlines in the newspaper and a great deal of fuss….but is it deserved?

The actress claimed that the Big Brother ‘race’ storm was making her feel ill. She sparked a fuss with her "Chinese" outburst about Thai housemate Kat Kasisopa. She says she is devastated by the fuss about her remarks on Big Brother’s Little Brother on Monday and claims she was influenced by outdated portrayals of the Chinese from books of her childhood. She described Kat as "very fake" before adding: "What is it they say about these inscrutable Chinese? And she is Thai, but it is all Oriental isn’t it? Well it is to me anyway. They don’t betray their emotions on their face, that is what I meant." Her appearance on the E4 programme caused an outcry from fans and TV watchdog Ofcom has also received complaints.

In true Pauline Fowler fashion (her motto being speak now, think later), Wendy Richard basically made a comment that would have made Alf Garnett proud… Watch the video below


Judging by her tone, you do get the feeling that she didn’t intend to offend, but this in no way justifies the remarks. What I want to know is didn’t Wendy Richard learn anything from the ‘Shilpagate’ episode on Celebrity Big Brother last year? All I can say is that it’s a good job she’s no longer on EastEnders – can you imagine the headlines the tabloids would’ve come up with? ‘EastEnders In Eastern Upset’…..’It’s Fowler Play, Cry The Chinese…’

George Lamb corrected her mistaken view that being from Thailand is the same as being from China – Wendy love, you’re English. Is that the same as being Irish? But to get this in perspective, she made a thoughtless comment, not a malicious one and it’s a hard lesson learnt the hard way. Let’s just hope that at the very least sanity prevails on this entire episode.

That’s it for now. Join me on Monday for a preview of all the week’s soaps. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.

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19 Responses to Wendy Richard’s Big Brother Upset

  1. Matt says:

    you know what its a joke. so is it racist if i someone says im being wisked away on the oriente express? if it is then me and my girlfriend are racist cos we had such a good time on it. i know for a fact we aint but i will still refer to one of the best experience of our life as the oriente express. i think people should stop bein such idiots and hypocrites

  2. PAUL says:

    Absolutely pathetic! That was not a racist comment at all. Wendy should not have to apologise. Britain and the U.S are a joke when it comes to being over-PC. You can\’t say "manhole", "blackboard" or even "Happy Christmas" any more. How stupid.
    We are so scared of offending people that are not in the least bit offended. The only people we are offending are the white, liberal-intelligensia brigade, those with ginger beards and elbow patches on their jumpers.
    Thank God I live in Thailand where this kind of rubbish is laughed at!

  3. Dave says:

    In no way was anything Wendy said racist. The biggest mistake she made was getting involved with such a pathetic, cheap show that is all about humiliating it\’s contestants anyway. If the word oriental is racist there are now a lot of people in trouble:- The Oriental Hotel in Brighton, the Oriental Museum at Durham University, the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University, the School of Orienatl and African Studies at the University of London, Global Oriental publishers to mention just a few. Oh and we musn\’t forget The Oriental Hotel in Bankok!!!!!
    Why do the authorities and television companies in this country give these PC busybody, nazi idiots the time of day?

  4. Ricky says:

    China and Thailand the same thing – christ what an idiot.  Having lived in Thailand and other Asian countries, being compared to the Chinese is one of the worst things you can do.  But the reason for that is their own racism towards the Chinese immigrants that live and prosper there.  In fact many Thais I meet are very racist – not to white Europeans but certainly to black people and to the Chinese.The word Oriental is clearly not racist but the attitude of "they all look the same to me" is pretty pathetic and I would have that even a thick, old idiot like Wendy Richards would be above that sort of crap.

  5. fhp says:

    China has something in the order of 55 different ethnic minority groups.  Some Chinese ethnic groups are related to the Thai ethnic people, and they share similarities in language and culture (look up Zhuang/ or Tai ethnic groups on Wikipedia).  These will be the people living in the South Western regions of China.  So Wendy\’s comment – that they are all the same to her, are quite valid!  However, politically, China and Thailand are very different!  And if Wendy Richard didn\’t know about the ethnic similarities/differences, then she SHOULD have known about the political differences!  For example, most white, Caucasian Brits and Americans are of the same ethnic group, but to call an American British or vice versa, may cause offense for some people (or indeed to lump all Brits together – Scots, Welsh, Irish, English for that matter!)  Ethnicity and Politics aside, I believe that she personally harbors some discriminatory views, and was basically stupid enough to let them slip out on TV.  She is by no way extreme, and she should be forgiven… c\’mon -we have all made mistakes, and some of us may even have our discriminatory views in some form or other!  Wendy, I forgive you!  Lets try to be more understanding of each other – we live in a pretty crap world as it is!

  6. Soap Blogger says:

    Hi, please watch your language folks.

    (no name)06 September 17:02
    I am a British Chinese, which makes me oriental.  When I read that some people considered the word "oriental" as racist, I found this very surprising, as this is news to me!  I personally use the word all the time – proudly!  It is not the word that is offensive, but the intent that it is used.  For example, if a European man was was described as a "white man" – fair enough, but to call him a "white b******d" is not!  Therefore, to call Kat oriental would not be offensive, to call her Chinese, when she is actually Thai is not offensive – it just shows her ignorance! Saying that, I happen to be part of an ethnic Chinese minority group who are related to the Thais – so in her ignorance, she is not strictly incorrect!  But to say that all orientals are fake, because they do not show their emotions on their faces IS offensive.  She says that she did not mean to cause any offense, and she probably whole heartedly did not intend to cause offense… and since she has shown herself to be not the brightest of individuals, my opinion on this matter is that I will give her the benefit of the doubt.  But I will now always look upon her as some one who is a little bit dumb, and a little bit ignorant!  I would never have judged, looking at her face that she would hold such views – the inscrutable Wendy Richard!

  7. Sam says:

    Until i read the editors comments here i didnt really understand what all the fuss was about. You could tell when she said it no malice was intended towards either Thai or Chinese populations.Given the papers seem to jump on anything they can to do with Big Brother and i saw her comments live i didnt take it seriously because the papers simply hate it and want it to disappear. I remember a few years ago the majority of newspaper used to bash big brother when it was on, its only after its continued popularity they accepted it was here to stay and either wrote about it blog style or left it alone.Wendy isn\’t racist, a little ignorant maybe but not racist. What she said about Kat wasn\’t expressed very well through the out dated stereotypes she mentioned but  her comments about Kats continued acting, the majority of fans thought were true. Although to try and apply that to entire populations isnt fair and i think she\’s learned a valuable lesson.

  8. Barbara-Anna says:

    wellwell, i am so sorry that the other big brother people are so jelious of dear Rachel who won!!  just because she is `nice` …what is the world coming too.  And Devina trying to make her share it! how disgraceful is that …Rachel you yake that money you won and place it in the bank, until you have thought about what you want to do ..ok ..do not let those that lost influence you on your decision, listen to this wise old lady love …god bless 

  9. Soap Blogger says:

    barbara-anna, your comment is off-topic. I\’m assuming you meant to post on the Big Brother blog instead.

  10. sharon says:

    i think the whole experience of big brother is a racist look how they had treated alex she was sticking up 4 her self she was right a bout most of the house mate from the begging example greedy mo rex being patronizing they treated her differnt then denise who did the most grace-full thing ever spitting in some one face but did they show it in the final no the cut out that part just showing the aftermarth of what  happen and concentrating on ppl weekness a another thing when the presentersslag off the ppl on the show y dont they say the same thing to there face all they do is talk a bout ppl behind there back and when the person is in front of them they say nothing know to the point i am coming to is wendy richard a racist no she is not she has just got her words mixed up

  11. Soap Blogger says:

    Please stay on-topic on this subject. Comments should be restricted to Wendy Richard on BBBM only, and not Big Brother in general.

  12. Christine says:

    I personally think it was just a comment that was mis-interprated as racist. I have trouble with working out if people are thai or chinese or whatever, that doesnt make me racist. Too many people read far to much into comments made and turn them into something wrong. People that complain about things like this are probably the same people that change ba ba black sheep, a well known innocent childrens nursery rhyme, into ba ba pink sheep, because black sheep was politically incorrect, and didnt want to stir up a race issue. What a load of rubbish. Some people are racist, I personally am not, but your not going to change the minds of people that are by sending in a complaint to a tv show because of one comment. It\’s ridiculous the world has gone crazy. What about short jokes, or blonde jokes? They are discrimantive but people laugh, and make comments about it. Whats the point, its always going to happen. ignore them and get over it. Obviously I dont agree with full on racist comments but comments like this?? I mean come on get a grip. Everyone is entitled to their own opinon, and your always going to get sad people who listen out for every comment ever made and turn into something its not and make there selves out to be victims. Like it or not thats the way the world works.

  13. sheryl says:

    dont mean to sound rude christine but ba ba black sheep was a racist song sung to black people back in the day. i dont want to have to educate you on black history and no 1 said you were racist u didint have to say your not that now raises suspicion.

  14. sheryl says:

    and yh jokes are jokes but if no 1 laughs its not a joke. blonde jokes and fat jokes are n as bad as race jokes because you can change the colour of your hair and weight but you cant change your skin colour can u? thats what i thought

  15. Soap Blogger says:

    (no name), your comment has been deleted because it\’s off topic. This discussion is about Wendy Richard ONLY and NOT Big Brother in general. To the second (no name), your comment has been deleted because it contained a swear word. Finally (no name), \’Baa Baa Black Sheep\’ itself is not "a racist song" – it\’s a nursery rhyme. Yes, years ago, some kids at school sung the rhyme in an insulting way to black kids, but the song itself is NOT racist. End of.

  16. Unknown says:

    I think there was no malice intended – this country is becoming so politically correct that it will encourage rasism; by that I mean that I never look at any of my friends and think \’oh your black or your brown\’ however,the other day i had an audible gasp from a colleague of mine as I was discussing the fact that my friend has sunburn even though she is black.  My young colleague looked at me very seriously and said \’ you can say she\’s black, they\’ll have you down in HR for that!\’.  But the thing is black people are pround to be black and do not like being labelled as \’Afro-Carribean\’ – so now I actually find myself censoring what I say and don\’t just think of them being my friends but also I now have to consider their colour in case something offends someone …. it\’s all gone too far!

  17. Soap Blogger says:

    (no name), not sure where you get the (wrong) idea that black people don\’t like being labelled \’Afro-Caribbean\’. Maybe the people labelled in that manner weren\’t from the West Indies. Just because you\’re black, doesn\’t mean you\’re from the Caribbean. No proud Scots wants to be labelled \’English\’ just because they\’re white. See what I mean?

  18. Simran says:

    I\’d just like to say that ba ba black sheep was actually a racist nursery rhyme…originating from around the 18th/19th century during the slave trade. Hence the \’have you any wool\’- referring to the cotton pickers.
    Not sure what this has to do with Wendy Richard\’s comment though..

  19. Soap Blogger says:

    Please click this link for the history and origins of Baa Baa Black Sheep. You will see that its origins have NOTHING to do with the Slave Trade. That is an urban myth. End of subject.

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