Is Big Brother’s Racial Equity Harming Reality TV?

Two Big Brother Season 23 contestants have formed a historic alliance. (CBS screenshot)

Twenty-one years ago, CBS launched its summer reality show Big Brother. This is a game in which 16 guests are placed in a house and cut off from the outside world. There is no television, news, radio, internet or telephone. Other than brief conversations with show host Julie Chen, they only have each other for company. They are recorded visually and audibly all the time. The principle is simple: each week, someone becomes the head of household and nominates 2 guests to be evicted, and the remaining guests vote for eviction. There are many twists and competitions that allow contestants to survive their potential expulsions, earn various rewards, inflict punishments, and more. It’s a game of physical endurance, mental acumen and social manipulation. He captivated millions.


Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.

After 21 regular seasons, including Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother All Stars, the Big Brother House is once again full with 16 guests chosen from across the country, vying each week to be the last to seek $750,000. This year, in light of the nationwide protests in 2020 and the entertainment industry’s dedication to anti-racism, CBS chose some of the guests based on their race.

CBS announced last November that its flagship reality shows, “Survivor,” “Love Island,” and “Big Brother” will include at least 50% people of color starting in 2021. That will include show attendees, but will also involve the hiring of production staff. based on skin color to promote diversity. CBS Representative George Cheeks explained, “The commitments announced today are important first steps in finding new voices to create content and further expand the diversity of our unscripted programming, as well as across our network. “

It’s about the entertainment industry’s attempt to repackage affirmative action, call it anti-racism, and essentially redesign entertainment to focus on race, gender, sexual orientation, and identity. gender.

Throughout the show, Big Brother’s winner is most often a white male, winning 13 times. The second most winning group is a white female, which counts as 4 wins. An Asian woman also won twice and a Latino man once. These winners include a variety of sexual orientations, biracial heritages and diverse cultural backgrounds.

Big Brother was hit with its first real accusation of racism during their 2019 season, in which fans heard some guests use racial slurs while in the House. Julie Chen spoke about it during the live finale in which she questioned whether the winner’s actions were based on the other guest’s minority status. The winner, Jackson Michie, denied all the allegations and seemed completely embarrassed. ET Canada, in the video referenced above, suggested, “If you’re looking for racism, you’re going to find it.

Fast forward to 2021. With CBS’s new diversity rule in effect, something jaw-dropping has already happened on the reality show and it hasn’t even taken a week. After just four days in the house, the five black guests formed an “all-black” alliance in the Big Brother house. The members of this alliance say, “Not everything here is about the game. We were brought here to change the culture. Think about the year we just had… It’s important for us to be here and stick together. This was then followed by clear implications that they needed to find “opposing” (white) people to be close with so as not to let people see that they were forming their alliances solely on the basis of race. They use racing as a strategy to win.

No media outlet dared to ask, “If a group of white people in past seasons had entered into an alliance solely based on the color of their skin, shouldn’t CBS have spoken about it publicly or else completely unplugged the show for promote racism? My request for comment to Julie Holland, vice president of entertainment communications at CBS, went unanswered.

The fact is, this racially-essentialist guest behavior is precisely the outcome promoted by critical race theory and propagated by organizations such as Black Lives Matter as well as the establishment media. When race becomes the most important thing, it becomes the only thing people see.

Big Brother not only promotes the opposite of what the civil rights movement sought to rectify, but it is also in direct opposition to what Hollywood used to promote. Samuel L Jackson, Denzel Washington, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis and countless others in Hollywood did not receive fame because of their race. They have become global superstars through their talent and hard work. All of them, regardless of their acting degrees, are superbly talented.

While Big Brother will continue its season until the end of September, it is not known if any of the black guests will go through with it. Over the years, various alliances have formed on the basis of gender, some more successful than others, but race has never been something to consider. They have already made history by becoming the first Big Brother alliance based solely on the color of their skin. Fan reaction on Twitter has been mixed to this development, the network has remained silent, and other outlets have yet to ask if this is a healthy direction for reality TV and Hollywood in general. .

Did America’s Pursuit of Racial Equity Begin Its Destruction of Reality TV? The show’s ratings, which have so far posted a 23% increase from last season, will be the final say. Stay tuned.

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