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Nella Rose’s I’m a Celeb outburst proves Gen Z are too quick to be offended

The YouTuber took offence to a comment made by her campmate, Fred, calling him ‘disrespectful’. Yes, grief touches a sore spot – I should know – but she was completely overreacting

Emma Clarke
Thursday 23 November 2023 09:45 GMT
I'm a Celebrity's Nella Rose and Fred Sirieix clash over father comment

Few things irk me more than Gen Z overreacting.

We see it all the time: from the TikToker who went viral after sobbing about the difficulties of a regular nine-to-five job, to young people complaining about not being able to work from home all the time.

However, even worse, in my opinion, is when Zoomers deploy their generation’s hair-trigger tendency to be offended, and use their emotions as an excuse to put down (and sometimes even control) others.

As someone who experienced the loss of a parent at a relatively young age, you can imagine how I felt watching last night’s episode of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, as YouTuber Nella Rose told viewers how she took offence to a comment made by First Dates star, Fred Sirieix.

In case you didn’t see it, it all began when the campmates were preparing dinner the night before, and Nella said she didn’t know how the cooks could see what they were doing (it was very dark in the jungle at that point).

Replying to Nella, Fred explained that he’s 51 and his eyesight isn’t what it used to be, before she assured him he isn’t old. In a lighthearted response, Fred commented: “Well I’m not 26 anymore, am I? I could be your dad,” referring to the age gap between them.

Instead of taking the comment as Fred intended it – like any rational person would, however – Nella decided that, seeing as she had told him about the loss of her parents previously, he must have meant it maliciously.

What’s more, when explaining to him why she was ignoring him the next morning, she took the comment out of context and accused him of being “disrespectful”, called him a “weirdo” and then told him he can’t “little girl” her. Naturally, poor Fred was left flabbergasted and looked bewildered after she refused to accept his apology and move past the incident. She even took it so far as to say they would occupy separate sides of the camp moving forward.

Tragically, Nella’s mum Eseho Omolongo and dad Kamango Paul Hollela both died within the space of four years. Speaking on her YouTube channel previously, Nella explained: "Literally not even a month, a couple of weeks, after I turned 19 my mum passed away and it was something that you don’t expect.

“You don’t plan, it just happened. I didn’t wake up that day and think, ‘Oh my mum is going to pass away’. She literally just died in my arms.”

When her dad passed away in 2020, she shared on Instagram: “Rest in Peace Daddy, watching you suffer for the past month has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but at least you’re not in pain anymore. Gonna make you the proudest dad ever in the years to come because I know you’re still by [my] side every step of the way.”

Now, I won’t suggest for one minute that there’s a blanket response to the death of a parent or that it’s not a life-altering thing. Everyone reacts and deals with grief differently, and the trauma of the event has an immediate and long-term impact on the sufferer – there is nothing like it, and nothing can prepare you for life without them. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Nella to lose both parents.

But, equally, it is not a card to be dealt every time you feel upset, annoyed or affronted. (Not that it is applicable in this instance, but nor is it a means to get out of something if you’ve behaved badly).

Even if you have a sensitivity around certain subjects, it is not okay to take it out on others or willingly mistake their actions and words as attempts to belittle your feelings or what you went through. To do so is not only immature, it also seems very calculating. One can’t help but feel as though Nella is using her past in this particular instance as a way of currying favour with others in the camp and the British public watching at home, and painting Fred as some sort of insensitive, patronising figure – characteristics that no one who has watched his shows would ever associate with him.

Life is full of unexpected – and often terrible – experiences. Sometimes people make passing comments without thinking. Some days it’ll hit you harder than others.

One of the hardest things to come to terms with after such a loss is that it is yours and yours alone. The people around you, while they may feel sad for you, are not going through what you are. To assume they are is careless, a little self-centered and – ultimately – is only going to lead to further disappointment.

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