Friday, 12 June 2009

Just desserts for Gordon Ramsay

It reflects badly on me that I've recently been visiting www.news.com.au, reading titillating gossip about celebrities I haven't actually heard of. One such celebrity is Tracy Grimshaw, a Channel 9 journalist who was recently on the wrong end of an inexplicable torrent of abuse from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

During an interview, Ramsay made a somewhat rude remark about Grimshaw's appearance. She took it rather good-naturedly. At an event the following day, at a cooking display in front of a crowd of some 5000 people, Ramsay flashed a picture of a naked woman with several breasts and the face of a pig superimposed - and said the image was of Grimshaw. In what was clearly intended as a homophobic jibe, he went on to call her a lesbian.

The Australian public has revolted against Ramsay: even Kevin Rudd had criticised his behaviour. (One wonders, a little cynically, if Aussies would have been as quick to condemn a misogynistic attack against a less liked public figure.) Grimshaw called Ramsay out for reiterating the pitiful, sexist argument which is so familiar: 'If you don't like me, it shows you're a lesbian, or there's something else 'wrong' with you'.

Ramsay's behaviour towards Grimshaw was repugnant. But what bothers me at least as much is that Gordon Ramsay has built a career on being unpleasant, belittling and denigrating. There's a sizable audience who enjoys watching Gordon Ramsay treating other people like crap. I don't want to sound old-fashioned - but what's wrong with being nice, for fuck's sake?

7 comments:

SimonD said...

Couldn't agree more, Ramsay is an oxygen thief.

stargazer said...

thank you for saying this. i really can't stand the way mr ramsay treats others.

A Nonny Moose said...

I've said it for many MANY years "You do realize that "gay" is not an insult?"

Tidge said...

I don't mind him yelling at chefs for being incompetent - I've worked in kitchens before and it generally seems to a be a pre-requisite to have a thick skin and ability to rant/be ranted at, then not hold grudges. Certainly, not all kitchens are this way, and perhaps it's not healthy, but I rather enjoyed it.

However, his personal attacks have always disturbed me. Attacking someone for their work ethic - OK, attacking someone for their size/sexuality/etc - not OK. I feel conflicted because I love cooking/shows and I genuinely like The F-Word in some respects, but man am I glad that Grimshaw tore him a new one. And that the rest of the Australian media seem to be piling in on top of her. Awesome.

I know a guy who reminds me a lot of Ramsey; I'm not very 'girly' and he often attacks me for being masculine (though I think that is too strong a word - I wear make-up, a lot of dresses, I'm just not very 'girly' in dememanour I think). I have always had the sense that he's bemused that I a) don't find him attractive, and b) don't feel the need to conform to what he thinks 'girls' should be like and that it doesn't bother me that he finds it unattractive/whatever. The relevance is that I think that both he and Mr. Ramsey suffer from a big truckload of 'masculinity'-based insecurity issues.

Scribe said...

Well said, SimonD. A very apt description.

Anonymous said...

You only have to look at Ramsay's face to see what he is about. There is something damaged and brutal about his facial expressions. His arrogant, attacking behaviour is never a joke - he is a deeply disturbed individual whose enjoys abusing others. He is a perfect example of how not to be and deserves to be the centre of public ridicule himself.

Anonymous said...

at least his disgusting behaviour doesn't go completely ignored in his own country ... http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/13/gordon-ramsay-tracy-grimshaw