This is the text of a letter I have sent to the Eastern Daily Press today in response to one of their journalists(Sharon Griffiths) claiming The Apprentice candidate, Katie Hopkins, had struck a blow for decent values.
I am struggling to understand how Sharon Griffiths (7th June 2007) describes the actions of the BBC’s Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins as a blow for “mothers, children and decent values”.
My understanding of The Apprentice is that contestants enter knowing that should they win, they will have to move to London to work with for Alan Sugar’s Amstrad company. So why, after being away from her children for eleven weeks, would a contestant suddenly at the last minute withdraw, saying they aren’t sure they could move their family ? Is this a blow for family values or a cynical attempt to court publicity when you have already been away from your family, that same family that is prized so highly, for the best part of three months ?
As for it being a blow for decent values, I am assuming that Sharon Griffiths missed the previous 10 weeks of episodes in which Ms Hopkins denigrated people from the regions (particularly Northerners), lager drinkers, people who watch daytime TV, people who struggle with their weight, indeed just about every stereotypical group she came across or could have a go at, Ms Griffiths did so in an extremely distasteful and unpleasant way. On top of that, the shameless bitching from Ms Hopkins about her fellow contestants, the snide, the downright rude and personal about others to camera, but out of the other earshot, was as bad as anything in Big Brother. But Sharon Griffiths assumes that this is a blow for decent values ?
The very fact that top comedy writer and the man behind Live 8 and Comic relief, Richard Curtis, chose to spend part of his speech when winning a BAFTA, talking about the awfulness of Ms Hopkins surely tells us something ?
I wonder what Sharon Griffiths would have said about her if far from being a Sloane Ranger with a posh suit and a plumy accent, Katie Hopkins had instead been brought up on a council estate, had an Essex accent and criticised people with different colour skin instead of people from up North. Now imagine her name was Jade and she was on Big Brother not “The Apprentice”.
It smacks of people being judged on accents, not on actions. Does Sharon still feel Ms Hopkins behaviour was a blow for “decent values” ?