‘Big Brother’: CBS airs disclaimer as racial tension rises
The sequestered houseguests on CBS’ “Big Brother” are totally unaware of the furor over Saturday’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
But CBS isn’t. In an apparent attempt to reassure viewers, the network further distanced itself from the racially charged comments of some of the show’s contestants, taking the unusual step of airing a disclaimer before the latest episode.
“ ‘Big Brother’ is a reality show about a group of people who have no privacy 24/7,” the printed disclaimer said. “At times, the houseguests may reveal prejudices and other beliefs that CBS does not condone. Views or opinions expressed by a houseguest are those of the individuals speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS. Viewer discretion is advised.”
It is apparently the first time that such a disclaimer has ever preceded an episode of “Big Brother.”
During Sunday’s installment, more tension erupted between some of the houseguests as Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman, who are white, engaged in a racially charged confrontation with Candice Stewart, who is black. Howard Overby, another black contestant, lifted Stewart and carried her away as the argument escalated.
Overby later consoled Stewart, who was crying, and telling her that she had to rise above the racism in the house. Gries later apologized to Stewart for her comments.
Previous episodes of “Big Brother” have shown Gries and Zimmerman making derogatory comments about African American, Asian American and gay members of the house. Both have lost their jobs, at a modeling agency and a beauty pageant, respectively.
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