The next Big Brother race scandal? Luke: “It ain’t a gang in here. It ain’t a culture”

I’ve talked a bit before about Darnell in the Big Brother UK house. Darnell, a Black songwriter with albinism, spoke up for Mikey (who is blind) when a group of housemates were patronising and fawning over him. The housemates Darnell who told off are allies of Luke, who fancies himself a master strategist.

So Luke nominated Darnell in the next nominations session, and here’s how that went down.


[Big Brother asks Luke to make his second nomination, and explain the reason for his nomination.]



“I – I really am intimidated by him. By the way he speaks, y’know, and this, this [makes stereotypical gang signs], ‘You’re gonna get it man’, and ‘this and that’, ‘that’s what I’m talkin bout’, ‘yeah I’m gonna get him down, I’m gonna get ‘im’.

“Right, ok, “Maybe it’s a cultural thing, maybe it’s a gang thing, but guess what Darnell? It ain’t a gang in here. It ain’t a culture. You’re not on the streets now, you’re in the Big Brother house. You can’t act the way you act on the streets inside this house, in my opinion.”

If Darnell has been intimidating or threatening in the house, we haven’t seen it. There are news stories about him having become involved with “gangs” while living in the USA, but by all reports this was greatly exaggerated – his “drug” involvement seems to have been limited to marijuana. He seems to have well and truly turned over a new leaf, doing youth work after returning to the UK. He is exuberant, but kind and thoughtful compared to most of the other right gits in the house.

We have seen Alexandra peremptorily kicked out for alluding to her gang connections and making veiled threats. Maybe Luke is looking to capitalise on anti-Alexandra sentiment by accusing Darnell of similar behaviour? Or perhaps he really does just find an energetic Black man threatening.

There doesn’t seem to be any buzz on the blogs about this yet. But I can’t be the only one seeing the racism here.

Categories: arts & entertainment, language, relationships

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6 replies

  1. I don’t think Luke is intimidated by Darnell at all, and I was baffled to hear him saying that. He’s not intimidated by anyone! And, as you say, Darnell is not intimidating in the least, he is one of the gentlest, most considerate people in there.
    I really am confused about why so many in the house seem to have taken against Darnell, I just don’t get it. I keep thinking something must have happened that I missed, but it does all sound a bit like a conspiracy to get him out, as Luke, Bex et al are obviously threatened by him although, again, I can’t see why.
    I don’t know why Luke suddenly started alluding to gang culture etc. As far as I am aware Darnell has never really talked about that, and yeah, I’m afraid it does sound like racism. Luke was one of my favourites (he makes me laugh) until I saw him nominating Darnell like that, with all the stereotypes he listed and the hand gestures etc. If it’s not a race issue, then I have no idea what it is!

  2. Debs: I believe Darnell is tipped to win, and perhaps the housemates are picking up on that vibe? Luke seems to spend all of his time game-playing, plotting, and mulling over his schemes with Mario, so I’m not at all surprised that he’s one of the first to start nominating strategically instead of by “Who I don’t like”.
    I’ve never heard Darnell alluding to the gang culture stuff. Apparently he mentioned once that he had had a chequered past and been in trouble with the law, but it certainly hasn’t been a big topic in the BB UK comm at livejournal, which has quite a few live feed watchers.

  3. Adding: when the housemates had the giant stand-up screaming fight, the one that ended with Dennis being chucked out for spitting in Mohammed’s face? Darnell was the _only one_ who genuinely apologised later to someone (Bex? Jen? I can’t remember) for contributing to making them feel scared. And he certainly wasn’t the only one doing the screaming – he only joined the argument after the spitting incident tipped him over the edge.

  4. I didn’t realise he was tipped to win, but if he is that makes sense now because Belinda was saying she wanted him to win and the people she was talking to (Mario, Lisa and ?someone else – might have been Luke?) where like WTF? about it – so word’s got round the house about that, and they do have a reason to feel threatened by Darnell. I’ve missed a couple of shows so am not as clued-up as some people!
    Yes, I remember him apologising (although to my mind he had nothing to apologise for) and being treated terribly for it by Jen, who tried to make out that he should have been thrown out like Dennis was for threatening behaviour. Glad she’s gone anyway. *Plea to the British public* can we make sure Mario’s out next, please?
    Actually, speaking of Mario, his reasons for nominating Darnell were equally suspicious…because he spends too long in the bath??? I was surprise Big Brother let him get away with that as a “valid reason”.

  5. I think Luke, Mario and Lisa are working on going all the way to the end together. I wonder if they’ll gnaw each others’ legs off if they get there.
    Having said that, Bex and Luke are great TV, though some of their larking seems dubiously consensual.

  6. when i saw this i thought to myself the same idiot was claiming various people to be fake.
    do they all of a sudden want people to act fake all the time.
    god luke is stupid i hope he goes soon as he deserves it.

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