Good Morning Britain fans were left scratching their heads over a heated debate on the iconic 90s book Bridget Jones’s Diary, in which the protagonist was accused of “paving the way for Andrew Tate”.
The smash hit novel details the life of the eponymous – and hapless – 30-something Bridget Jones, who offers her innermost thoughts on her life as a single woman in the 90s. Released in 1996, Helen Fielding’s book was a mega success and captured the zeitgeist of the moment.
It went on to spawn a string of beloved films, fronted by Renee Zellweger in the lead role, and Bridget was able to capture even more fans. The satirical nature of the book ensured the character became something of a relatable, everywoman’s hero – she was exceptionally flawed and this was never shied away from.
Now, 25 years after its publication, the effects of Bridget Jones on women was debated on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Best-selling author Adele Parks went up against Ava-Santina Evans to discuss the character and the potential impact she may have had on women.
Kicking things off, Ava-Santina said: “She's the epitome of a self-obsessed, over-consumed, drinks-too-much woman who is not fit for the workplace and I don’t think that’s healthy for young boys to look at.”
Presenter Susanna Reid asked: “Are young boys consuming Bridget Jones books and films?” To which, Ava-Santina replied: “Well no, but young boys are consuming Andrew Tate, right? And Andrew Tate is teaching them that women are flighty, that women are not responsible and they should be in the home.”
Susanna cut in and said: “Oh I see, so Bridget Jones paved the way for Andrew Tate? Blimey.” Ava-Santina hesitated and then said: “Possibly actually – but you know, if a young boy is looking at her now, I would say that just epitomises every critique that he has about a woman.”
In defence of Bridget Jones, author Adele Parks said: “I don’t think that’s the debate is it? The debate is, is she a danger to women? Of course she’s not a danger to women because women are not weak minded and ridiculous, and read a comedic, satirical book and think, ‘that’s who I am’.”
She went on to say she read American Psycho, which she presumed many boys have also read, and it didn’t prompt her to “start chopping people up and hiding them under [her] floorboards”.
The author continued: “I think we’re getting into a world that is ludicrous that we're not allowing space for comedy.” She conceded Bridget was “neurotic” and did smoke too much, which she’s “very against” as it’s “not going to help our NHS”, but fundamentally, is a character who wishes to improve herself – which is relatable to many men and women.
Viewers flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts on the heated exchange, with the vast majority on Adele – and Bridget’s – side. One said: “Bridget Jones is a fictional character, get a life! Bridget Jones was a great book that gave me giggles, she wasn't a "role model" and certainly didn't define me as a woman. She was a character women could relate to.”
Another simply said: “Bridget Jones was really funny”, while a third commented: “Christ almighty a person discussing the downfall of woman because of Bridget Jones diary film”.
Another fan added: “She’s exactly who most women identify with”. After her appearance, Adele Parks tweeted: “Loved my appearance on @GMB today defending Bridget Jones – the comedic fictional character – against the view that she’s a dangerous role model! She gave harried women of the 90s space to make mistakes and grow. All power to fiction that creates communities!”
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