After 21 Seasons, Why Hasn't Big Brother Fixed Its Racism Drawback?

It has been practically 20 years since Big Brother premiered, and it hasn’t modified a bit and that is a foul factor.

By its personal design, Big Brother cannot conceal behind an edit. Its progressive 24/7 stay feeds made the present a novel idea, initially out there without spending a dime however now requiring a paid subscription to CBS All Entry, they’ve additionally uncovered many deeply offensive moments of prejudice from contestants. When an episode fails to supply the entire story, feed watchers are fast to level out the failings within the edit, offering real-time clips on websites like Twitter and Reddit. As controversies appear to get extra frequent, the present continues to maneuver away from what initially made it compelling. It is onerous to not marvel if Big Brother‘s casting division and producers are vetting individuals who could maintain prejudiced views, or on the very least, even searching for a extra various solid of houseguests.

The solid of the Big Brother‘s season 21, which wrapped on Sept. 25, was criticized numerous times over the season for exhibiting prejudice. Jackson Michie, the eventual winner of the season, was elected camp director within the first episode of the season because of a twist. He needed to choose 4 houseguests based mostly on first impression to “banish,” which means they’d compete to remain within the recreation. He selected three folks of colour, together with the one two black contestants, and the 54-year-old Cliff Hogg, the one member of the solid over age 40. Due to this, accusations of racism and ageism got here from followers proper in the beginning of the season, particularly because the 4 houseguests evicted over the next weeks had been all folks of colour.

Different situations garnered criticism as properly; Jack Matthews often cruelly mocked Kemi Fakunle, the season’s solely black girl, together with a time when he stated he needed to “stomp a mud hole” via her chest. Christie Murphy additionally as soon as referred to a braided hairstyle as “ghetto.”

Host Julie Chen confronted Matthews after his eviction, showing him clips of some of the offensive things he said, and he, Michie, and Murphy had been all confronted by Fakunle about their conduct in the course of the finale. “I hope that when you get to watch footage back from the season, you understand why it was received the way that it was,” Fakunle said. “A lot of the things said about me and several of the other houseguests are completely inexcusable and unforgivable.”

After 21 Seasons, Why Hasn't Big Brother Fixed Its Racism Drawback?

Whereas it was satisfying to observe these contestants notice they had been disliked by viewers the complete season (particularly as Michie walked out of the house stone-faced after winning), after so many racist controversies through the years, it is onerous to reward the present for setting apart “teachable” moments to name these folks out when they aren’t doing a lot to stop this racism from taking place within the first place.

Season 21 could have offered probably the most egregious examples, however let’s think about Big Brother‘s different scandals. There was the racist mattress-flipping incident on season 15, Bronte D’Acquisto saying Korean houseguest James Huling ought to “go back to Hong Kong” on season 18, use of the n-word on season 20.

Known to recruit many houseguests who’re unfamiliar with the present, Big Brother‘s producers even have been accused of encouraging racial stereotypes among the many few folks of colour it does solid. Fakunle advised different houseguests {that a} producer on the present stated to “wag [her] finger and be like, ‘uh huh girlfriend.'” It is hypocritical for the host and producers to criticize the conduct of the houseguests when at greatest they’re casting ignorant folks and at worst they’re instructing houseguests to racially stereotype themselves.

Big Brother is way from the one mainstream actuality sequence to face criticism over prejudicial casting and the conduct of its contestants, however regularly utilizing racism as a supply of drama shouldn’t be solely tactless, it is grown predictable and is alienating each followers and houseguests. It is exhausting to see the identical sorts of incidents over and over, figuring out there will probably be little to no penalties as probably the most compelling a part of the present, the sport, continues to develop into much less essential.

In concept, the present is an interesting social experiment, and the technique and manipulation inherent to the sport have produced some really memorable moments, like Will Kirby’s veto speech in season seven and Dan Gheesling’s “funeral” in season 14. What’s mistaken with casting a various group of contestants to play the sport as its meant to be performed, fairly than capitalizing on problematic drama? As it’s now, Big Brother could have acknowledged a few of its houseguests’ flaws, however has didn’t make any significant change to fight them and permit the sport to thrive.


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