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After 23 seasons, ‘Big Brother’ names its first Black winner

A man in a maroon tank top sitting outside
Milwaukee lawyer Xavier Prather is the winner of “Big Brother” Season 23.
(Best Possible Screen Grab / CBS)

Xavier Prather, a Milwaukee-based attorney, was crowned the winner of CBS’ “Big Brother” on Wednesday, making history as the first Black player to come out on top since the reality/competition series premiered in 2000.

Prather, 27, was selected by a nine-member jury of contestants who had been “evicted” from the Big Brother house this season. Coming in second place was safety officer Derek Frazier, whose father is late boxing legend Joe Frazier.

Both had been members of the Cookout, a secret all-Black alliance of six players who bonded at the beginning of the season with the goal of making sure that a Black player would claim the grand prize of $750,000.

The show’s most diverse season might produce its first Black winner. And the alliance behind it, “The Cookout,” has sparked both anger and praise.

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The alliance sparked anger from some fans of the series, who accused the show and CBS of supporting “reverse racism.”

“Big Brother” has been repeatedly marred since its first season by accusations of racism, bullying and insensitivity in its treatment of Black houseguests. The casts of its previous seasons have been predominantly white.

This season featured the most diverse cast in the show’s history, thanks to an order issued last year by CBS Chief Executive George Cheeks in response to the protests for racial justice that came in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police last year. Cheeks ordered that the casts of all the network’s unscripted shows be 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color).


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