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Bigg Boss participant 'sympathises' with Shilpa
January 18, 2007 16:47 IST
Actress Shilpa Shetty, the target of alleged racial abuse on the British reality television show Celebrity Big Boss, has found support and sympathy from unexpected quarters.
"Shilpa is a fairly strong woman. She has some guts facing up to all that in the show," said Roopali Ganguly, who complained of bullying by fellow contestants when she appeared in the Indian version of the show, Bigg Boss.
Roopali, who was among the 13 participants of Sony TV's Indian version and came to be known for her emotional outbursts and frequent storming out of rooms in the show, was evicted last week from the house of Bigg Boss.
The show tests contestants on how well they handle day-to-day frictions while living locked up under the same roof for weeks together.
"I had no contact with the outside world for the last two months and do not know exactly what happened with Shilpa but from what I hear, she is handling herself really well," said Roopali, the simple-but-moody Monisha of the television serial Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai.
Is Shilpa getting ahead of other contestants on thousands of sympathy votes she received after some participants allegedly called her racist names? "Well, if she is getting sympathy votes, she deserves it," said Roopali. "At least she is putting up with all that name-calling."
Sandiip Sikcand, Sony TV's creative head and the brains behind Bigg Boss, said, "It's appalling and ridiculous the way they treated Shilpa. But I do hope she goes ahead and wins the prize money -- just to show them all."
There were no "serious" incidents of bullying or use of abusive language on the Indian show, Sikcand said.
"When actors used offensive language, we bleeped it out and, when they dressed inappropriately, we called them in private and asked them not to. No one crossed any line."
Cattiness, drama, and intrigue, Sikcand said, were intended parts of Bigg Boss, and the characters handpicked to portray these qualities had lived up to their tasks.
"I fully sympathise with Shilpa but I have heard a lot being said about myself too," Roopali said.
Admitting that Rakhi Sawant, a participant in the Indian show, is not exactly her favourite person, Roopali alleged, "She said some pretty horrible things to me. But I feel sorry for her."
The Indian show featured, apart from Roopali and Rakhi, Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kissan, television and film actors Bobby Darling, Amit Sadh, Anupama Verma, Aryan Vaid, Deepak Parashar, Deepak Tijori, Kashmira Shah, Ragini Shetty, Rahul Roy and model Carol Gracias.
"Viewers loved the show," Sikcand said, adding Sony had to Indianise it to a great extent.
"For one, there are no cameras in dressing rooms and bathrooms," he said. "The language is reasonably modified compared to its UK version, and we bleep out remarks meant to abuse," he added.
Participants in the Indian show are watched 24 hours by cameras fitted in the house they are locked up in. They are given tasks every week and allowed to buy groceries on the basis of their performance.
Rakhi, who came to be known for her 'suicide threats' and sharp comments, was voted out of the house by her housemates but brought back on public demand.