Last week CBS was confronted by new evidence suggesting that some of the terrible people it hires to be terrible to each other, in order to win its terrible people contest Big Brother, might also be terrible in a racist way. And in light of these new facts, of which CBS now realized it was largely aware, the network was forced to take action, seeing as everyone was suddenly paying attention to it. So this Sunday, Big Brother made an effort to end the obfuscation, airing a segment devoted to “exposing” some of the many racist, homophobic, and generally despicable comments that were already widely disseminated on its 24-hour live feeds, compiled in exhaustive list form, called out by angry former contestants, and answered by petitions calling for the removal of the biggest offenders. No doubt it was a revelation to the fans so deeply invested in Big Brother, they too have completely shut themselves off from the outside world.
Anyway, as you can see from the montage below, it mostly focuses on the things said by Aaryn Gries, whose many racist remarks have suggested that her being named after a dumb anagram of “Aryan” isn’t a coincidence. Included are such now-familiar hits as “Go Make Some Fuckin’ Rice,” plus newer improvisations on the same theme, such as her heavily accented impression of an Asian manicurist. “Does she not know we’re on TV and shouldn’t stay stuff like that?” one contestant asks—quite rhetorically, considering that, before last week’s Internet outcry, her remarks were definitely not on TV.
Of course, the show has yet to air some of the many other, equally offensive remarks that have already been catalogued on the Internet; for example, Spencer Clawson’s praising of Hitler’s speaking skills and the good done by Nazi medical experiments, or his habit of calling all the women “cunts.” And, outside of the housemates expressing some discomfort, there have been no consequences on the actual show as yet. As one of her housemates complains in the video, Aaryn has been made “Head of Household,” immediately separating the people she’s been so casually spewing hate at it into the “have-nots” room. (Poignantly metaphorical, on a show where those two words mean nothing.)
During the season’s first live episode, host Julie Chen remarked only that the group’s “true colors” are coming out (though, judging by sentiments she expressed on The Talk today, that could possibly change soon). Meanwhile, the “racism” episode hit a ratings high—skyrocketing up from a recent all-time low—as society showed its scorn by giving the series record levels of attention, thus reaffirming that CBS will definitely learn its lesson about hiring these sorts of terrible people in the future, when it wants lots of viewers.
Still, as some small consolation, Gries and fellow contestant GinaMarie Zimmerman (who called welfare “n***er insurance,” which is ignorant of issues both racial and monetary) have already been fired from their day jobs—at a modeling agency and a beauty pageant company, respectively—while Clawson has been formally censured by his employers at Union Pacific Railroad. And, in keeping with Big Brother’s rules, they will only be told about it after they finally leave the house, along with the revelation that microphones and cameras record things. It remains to be seen whether that moment will also make it to television. We’d be willing to start a petition.
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