I don’t personally follow the Big Brother live feeds, but reports from those who do have been quite disturbing. Apparently a few of the houseguests, most notably Aaryn, have made some very inappropriate racist and homophobic comments. Several viewers (and even a former houseguest) have called for CBS to address the issue, and even remove some of the guilty parties from the competition. As a result, CBS has issued the following statement:
“Big Brother is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 — and seeing every moment of their lives. At times, the Houseguests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by several of the Houseguests on the live Internet feed to be offensive. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a Houseguest appearing on Big Brother, either on any live feed from the House or during the broadcast, are those of the individual(s) speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program.”
With last week’s Supreme Court decision, along with the Paula Deen controversy, this is, of course, an interesting time in our history for this to be happening. Here are a few examples of Aaryn’s egregious comments:
-She’s joked that African-American houseguests Candice and Howard will ally with each other “because of the black thing.”
-She said Asian-American houseguest Helen should “shut up and go and make some rice” –She declared openly gay contestant Andy “will probably win MVP because everyone loves seeing the queers.”
The craziest thing to me is that the houseguests, who frequently refer to themselves as “super-fans” of the game, are so ignorant as to how they will be perceived by the public. It shows a certain sad kind of small-mindedness to think these things; it shows downright stupidity to say them out loud when you know cameras are capturing your every word. Aaryn has apparently said she intends to pursue a career as a TV host when she is done on the show. The fact that she thinks that the things that come out of her mouth are acceptable, and will paint a picture of a hirable personality, is almost laughably delusional.
Do you think CBS has an obligation to show these comments on the air, and reveal the contestants for who they really are? In light of the Deen drama, could this be an important opportunity to have a real discussion about the way we talk about race in this country? Should they go a step further and remove Aaryn and others from the game? Let me know what you think.
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