Celebrity Big Brother, or CBB as it’s often abbreviated, is an epicentre of drama. Every series features arguments and controversy that splatters across social media and magazines, dividing viewers. However, in recent years, no series appears to have created such a stir as Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett’s allegations of violence towards Ryan Thomas. This act not only aims to humiliate and potentially destroy Thomas’ career, but it has also caused detrimental repercussions for women’s rights and the victims of domestic abuse.
For those unfamiliar with the event, I’ll provide a brief explanation. Ryan Thomas, a fellow soap star, playfully punched Roxanna Pallett in the ribs. Unbeknown to him, after this act, Roxanne went to the Celebrity Big Brother producers and accused Thomas’ of violence. In a tearful breakdown, Roxanne sobbed that Ryan should not remain in the house as he had been extremely violent towards her in an unprovoked attack. For viewers who had seen video evidence of what occurred, Roxanne’s emotional outburst seemed as shocking as unjust. The situation was made more toxic by Roxanne’s systematic manipulation of fellow housemates, slowly spinning the tale of Ryan’s violence.
The act was innocent and playful; however, Roxanne’s portrayal of the event was anything but
Whether or not Ryan accidentally hurt Roxanne is debatable, but what is clear is the lack of malice: much the way siblings playfight. The act was innocent and playful; however, Roxanne’s portrayal of the event was anything but. The aftermath of the ‘fighting’ playing out in the house was very difficult to watch. Ryan Thomas was completely ostracised by some of his fellow housemates as they took the allegations of a tearful and frightened Roxanne seriously, as they should if violence had occurred. As a viewer, watching Ryan sobbing in the pool, oblivious to Roxanne’s fabrications, was harrowing. The tale Roxanne told fellow housemates could be interpreted as malicious lies intended to damage Ryan’s reputation and potentially ruin any chances of him being employed in the future.
Roxanne has since decided to leave the house and has been bombarded with audiences horrified and outraged reactions
Very fortunately, the event was caught on camera and viewers as well as the producers of CBB can clearly see what transpired. Roxanne has since decided to leave the house and has been bombarded with audiences horrified and outraged reactions. Pallett has been interviewed by Jeremy Vine and CBB presenter Emma Willis, in which she has apologised for her actions. However, she still sobs and thus maintains the vulnerable persona she portrayed during her stay in the house. This could be interpreted as simply an act, however with the media storm of outrage surrounding Pallett, her tears could be genuine as she sobs for her ruined reputation. Whether she can turn this event around and attempt to have some good arise from the negative remains to be seen.
Roxanne’s accusations against Thomas for something he didn’t do are detrimental in the fight for justice against abusers
The intentions Roxanne had are very confusing, why would somebody want to tarnish a fellow housemates reputation in such a way? The most harrowing part of the entire scenario, however, is the way in which Roxanne accused a man of violence towards her which was grossly exaggerated. In recent years victims, mostly women, have fought for justice in exposing the people who have been violent towards them. For many people to step forward after an act of abuse has transpired towards them takes a lot of bravery. Unfortunately, often their abusers are not brought to the justice they deserve. Roxanne’s actions in the CBB house, reflect some ideas people have against the #metoo movement, mainly that the victims are lying. Roxanne’s accusations against Thomas for something he didn’t do are detrimental in the fight for justice against abusers.
If people don’t come forward in fear of not being believed, abusers won’t get the punishment they deserve
If a huge media storm is brewing around a false accusation, many cases in court could now be met with a cold gaze of distrust. In many situations of abuse, it is one person’s word against another and in real life, there are no cameras around to record what happened. Roxanne’s actions in the house have created seismic waves amongst media outlets. Watching the media storm (ironically the theme of this year’s CBB) centred around Roxanne and Ryan could lead to many victims not coming forward in the fear they will not be believed. Consequently, if people don’t come forward abusers won’t get the punishment they deserve. After many years of fighting for equality and justice, a scenario like what occurred in the CBB feels like a step backwards for the #metoo movement.
The aftermath of Roxanne’s accusations is sure to be the focus of our attention for the next few weeks. However, one thing is becoming quite clear, Roxanne’s attempts at destroying a man’s career may have come at the cost of her own. We can only hope that it won’t come at the cost of true victims justice against their attackers.