I had planned to come out of my short-hiatus with a different post, however I had something that I urgently needed to get off my chest.
I stopped watching Big Brother quite a while ago, before it even moved channels in fact. Yet, I did try to watch one episode of Celebrity Big Brother earlier this week because I’m suffering from withdrawal symptoms following the end of Love Island last month LOL. It didn’t hit the spot.
But on social media this week, I noticed a lot of tweets about Roxanne Pallett and Ryan Thomas. For anybody unfamiliar with them, both are soap opera stars (on rival programmes actually!) Roxanne is apparently known for being a bit of a drama queen off-screen (who would’ve thought of a soap actress??), as well as on-screen while being on Celebrity Big Brother and last week, Roxanne clearly didn’t think that she had enough attention, so decided to accuse Ryan of violently attacking her. I had to watch.
So, it was another case of Love Island, where the audience watching saw what really happened, while everybody else in the house for a while only had the words of Roxanne and Ryan. In case you haven’t watched it, this is what happened: they were both in the kitchen and Ryan playfully did some jabs near her side, but his hands never touched her. Roxanne, after laughing, then screamed
“ow that hurt! Woman-beater”.
She then went into the bedroom and asked Big Brother if she could be called to the “Diary Room”, where she told Big Brother that Ryan had just violently attacked her and she was in pain. Following this, she asked to be sent to another bedroom for the night, because she couldn’t be in the same room as “her attacker”, while Ryan was given a formal warning from Big Brother. I’m guessing this action was taken by the Big Brother production team to appease Roxanne
Unbeknownst to Ryan, over the next subsequent days or so, Roxanne had begun to tell some of the other guys what had happened to her, which included an over-exaggerated demonstration on her friend Ben and lots of shaking and sobbing while having to “relive the ordeal”. It was noticed that she never approached the other women in the house, because she knew that they wouldn’t have believed her. Ryan soon became ostracised from the majority of the group of men (the older men stood by Ryan, but the younger guys sided with Roxanne), until Big Brother finally stepped in, when one of the guys – Dan – who had initially been on Roxanne’s side, went into the Diary Room to bitch about Ryan, only for Big Brother to ask Dan if Ryan had really done anything, would he even still be in the house? Dan then saw the light and informed the rest of the house that Roxanne had been lying.
I have seen many white women using their fragility when it comes to spinning stories. I am furious with Jermaine in particular – the only Black man in the house – because even after he was told the truth, he was the only one still swayed by Roxanne’s white tears; he took A LOT of convincing and I feel like this is a common occurrence with Black men who like to jump to the rescue of white women.
I am also sick and tired of women like Roxanne using their privilege of fragility to make false accusations about violence, tarnishing the authenticity of real victims and survivors of violence inflicted by men, while simultaneous damaging the reputation of the men they accuse. Can you imagine if this hadn’t have happened on camera? Ryan’s career would have been ruined.
I used to have two girl-friends who would often accuse a guy of being physically violent towards them and throw around the term “woman-beater”, when they had just been play fighting and barely touched (we all saw). They then admitted that they had been joking, but this was only after a few days or WEEKS of punishing the guy they had accused! It is sick, just because you are so desperate for attention, to use accusations of violence to gain that attention. Watching Ryan destroyed by the accusation was not only heartbreaking but incredibly uncomfortable and infuriating to watch. I rarely jump to the defence of a man, but in this case, I was on Ryan’s side 100%.
I’ve also seen women accuse their partners of verbal abuse because of jokes and bants (banter) from the man’s side. The woman will happily give bants to the man, but as soon as the man gives it back, they’re accused of abuse. I’m not saying that insulting somebody isn’t abuse – fair from it, as I’ve been a victim of both physical and verbal abuse – but bants IS NOT THE SAME because bants is a two-way street! Bants is affectionate in fact; affectionate teasing, while verbal and emotional abuse is one-sided means to dominate, undermine, threaten and control. Of course there is a very thin line here, but for clarification, if the joke hurts then fair enough, but on its own, a joke cannot count as abuse.
Going back to Big Brother, something Roxanne said after she realised that the tide was turning against her in the house, really riled me up. In the Diary Room she made a comment about the reaction she was now receiving after everybody in the house had found out that she was lying:
“this is why women don’t speak out about things like this, because nobody believes them”.
FUCK OFF. Women don’t speak out about this stuff because they live in fear, not only that they won’t be believed, but also that there will be consequences from their abuser. Wanting to be believed is on the list, but a low priority when your life is in danger.
Roxanne has now walked out of the house and her career is rightfully in tatters. Furthermore, stories have come out from ex-partners who have said that she has done the same to them (accused them of abuse which has ruined their reputations), while colleagues of her’s have said that she is a compulsive liar and constantly seeking attention. Emma Willis, the host of Big Brother, also gave her a brutal grilling in her exit interview. Roxanne now insists that after watching the footage back, Ryan didn’t actually punch her, but it felt like it hurt at the time. It’s ironic that the show has taken its name from George Orwell’s Nighteen-Eighty Four really.
I’ll leave it at that.