During the fifth series of Celebrity Big Brother, the actions and behaviour of several housemates towards fellow housemate, Shilpa Shetty, sparked allegations of racist behaviour. Contestants Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd, Jo O'Meara, Jackiey Budden and Jack Tweed were all noted as behaving aggresively or making racially offensive remarks about Shilpa. Most notably, Jade freuently launched into aggresive arguments with Shilpa which were considered by the public and media to be bullying behaviour. The screening of these comments and arguments resulted in extensive media coverage in Britain and India, with responses from the British and Indian governments.
Early on in the series Jackiey Budden, Jade's mother, started referring to Shilpa as "The Indian", as she claimed that she was unable to pronounce her name and made no effort to remember it. Jackiey even called Shilpa by this name in her eviction, prompting host, Davina McCall, to encourage Jackiey to say Shilpa's name, which she managed to do.
Jack Tweed, Jade's boyfriend, was noted for his aggresive language and use of expletives in relation to Shilpa. After Jackiey’s eviction, Jack called Shilpa a "fucking [expletive]", with the bleeped-out expletive variously reported as "cunt" and "Paki".
Many of the accusations were centred on conversations between Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara. On one occasion, the two women mocked Shilpa's accent, and on another occasion Danielle referred to Shilpa as a "dog". After believing Shilpa had undercooked a chicken, Jo generalised that all Indians were thin because they were "sick all the time" as a result of undercooking their food. Danielle commented on Shilpa applying facial hair bleaching cream, saying, "She's trying to make her face look white." Jo mocked Shilpa's accent, saying, "Ooh I got a hairy face." Jade, Danielle and Jo repeatedly stated to each other and the other housemates that they felt Shilpa was a 'fake' and a 'loser'.
After an argument between Shilpa and Jade, witnessed by Jo and Danielle, Danielle said she thought Shilpa should "fuck off home". She also said Shilpa "can't even speak English properly anyway". She also mentioned that she didn't like Shilpa touching her food because "you don't know where her hands have been". The next morning, Danielle spoke to Shilpa about the situation, but did not apologize. During the conversation in the bedroom, Jade entered, sat in front of Danielle, blocking out Shilpa, and began doing makeup. As Shilpa left, Danielle told Jade that she "tried apologizing to her". Later Danielle said to Shilpa, "I feel really bad, I feel disgusted with myself the way I've treated you and the way I've acted, because I'm not like that, Shilpa, really, . . . And you can even cook me curry and you can pick the onions out with your fingers", which was seen by many as another attack on Shilpa
Jade referred to Shilpa as 'Shilpa Fuckawallah', 'Shilpa Daroopa' and 'Shilpa Poppadom'. She later insisted that she had done this with no intention of racism. She later apologized if her actions had offended anybody. After Jade apologized to Shilpa for her behaviour, Jack confessed that he was very disappointed with Jade for apologizing, and called Shilpa a "dick" after previously describing her as a "wanker". Jade and Shilpa made up after the show, becoming good friends.