The Headliner podcast: Bake Off gets creepy, pink gets a millennial makeover and Google proves that misogyny is alive and well in Palo Alto

10th August 2017

Bake Off gets creepy, pink gets a millennial makeover and Google proves that misogyny is alive and well in Palo Alto

When the Great British Bake Off packed up its tent and marched over to Channel 4, fans were ambivalent at best; outraged at worst. Now, with barely a month to go until its premiere, the revamped show – minus three quarters of its treasured team (Mel, Sue and Mary Berry) – is already causing the sort of angst we used to watch it to forget. GBBO’s latest trailer, which shows 335 different baked goods coming to life and dancing around to Paul McCartney, has been branded ‘terrifying’ by fans on Twitter. Several reported having nightmares about the edible characters, which include a vomiting caterpillar and some malicious looking pastries. We know you’re new at this, C4, but baking show trailers are supposed to make you want to eat the food, not worry that the food is going to eat you.

Elsewhere… gone are the orchids, the salmons, the cherry blossoms. All but forgotten are the hots, the tangos, the carnations. The only pink that matters in 2017 finds its name in its most powerful advocate: the millennial. Fashion houses and designers are fawning over it, journalists are ascribing a cultural significance to it and apparently nobody can agree what shade ‘millennial pink’ actually is. Sorry, but it is August, after all.

And finally, while we’d be forgiven for thinking that Google HQ is a melting pot of young progressives, this week proved that even the company famous for ‘blue-sky thinking’ has its share of reactionary idiots. James Damore, a previously unknown software engineer posted a memo which left female staff “shaking in anger”. The 10-page ‘manifesto’ criticised the company’s diversity initiatives as ‘dangerous’ and suggested that gender inequality is the result of innate biological differences between men and women. Sigh. Despite fierce criticism from self-styled ‘advocates of free speech,’ Damore was eventually fired by Google, who claimed that the memo breached the company’s code of conduct.

So, is the famously open and inclusive Palo Alto giant really silencing anyone who doesn’t share its political views? Or is it taking a moral stand against woeful ignorance?