Racism For Ratings: Big Brother 15

You could not meet two bigger Big Brother fans than The Dose Girls. The one thing that keeps us going in the summer is the arrival of another new season.

Ashley the Mega Fan and Shirt

Each summer CBS picks 16 strangers to live in a house and be filmed 24 hours a day in this game show. Think of MTV’s The Real World meets Survivor, and you’ll get the idea. Each week a houseguest is voted out until one is crowned the winner and receives the $500,000 grand prize. Not only is there a prime time show that airs three times a week, but for reality TV addicts like us, it’s even better. You can purchase a subscription to uncensored, unedited, live internet feeds from the house that run 24/7.


The live internet feed *really* gives you access to what is going on in the house…boy, does it ever.

This summer we anxiously awaited the start of this season and got our subscription to the live feeds. What we saw there this season turned our stomachs. Just one week into the show, we both cancelled our subscriptions to the feeds and dropped the show from our viewing schedule in disgust.

What happened?

You see, this year the cast is chock full of racists.

Although the prime time broadcast has been carefully edited to show almost none of it, the dozens of cameras and microphones placed around for the live internet feeds have picked up *many* cast members saying some of the most vile things we’ve ever heard. No, not just on TV– we mean ANYWHERE.

A few weeks ago the media picked up the story. Under this pressure, CBS was eventually forced to mention some of the racial slurs on the show. They decided to make it seem like one houseguest, Aaryn, was the only person engaging in this behavior. Oh, she definitely was, but she was *far* from the only one.

They neglected to let us know that the Asian American contestant has been told to “shut up and make rice”, and it had been said that smacking her in the head might straighten her eyes. An African American contestant was accused of acting “too white” and soiling bed linens with her blackness. Another time they joked she should, “Cook us some pancakes, Aunt Jemima.” Oh, and one cast member even praised the efforts of doctors in Nazi Germany for giving us medical breakthroughs due to their concentration camp experiments.

No Harmony in Big Brother 15

If you want to be thoroughly disgusted you can click here to see a transcript of some of the specific comments that have been made. Here is a compilation video of some of the awful video moments. Here is another. They are horrific. You’ve been warned.

Here’s the thing. Except for showing a few brief moments of what only one contestant did when they were forced into it by the media attention, the producers are hiding all of this from the public. They are pretending they have outed the one person doing it, and they’ve totally moved on.

They have not shown Amanda calling the African American contestant “Shaniqua” or referring to her as “the monkey”. They didn’t show GinaMarie saying the same contestant should do the laundry like “in The Help” giggling all the while. They have not put any of these or countless other statements on the actual TV show.

In fact, they go out of their way to make Amanda seem like a really nice person and GinaMarie seem like a silly, funny girl on the TV show. They have made sure that the TV show Amanda and GinaMarie bear no real-life resemblance to who they absolutely show themselves to be on the live feeds. None. If you only watched the TV show and not the live feeds, you’d never even know this was still going on at all.

“Good!”, you might think, “Nobody wants to see that!”

No, nobody does. But by not showing this side of these people to America, they are whitewashing what is happening in the house. They are doing absolutely *nothing* to stop it and are thus passively condoning it–and making a good deal of money from it while doing so.

Simply pretending it’s not happening does not means it’s not happening.

Just ask Howard. This is him coping behind closed doors after some blatant racist remarks were made. He’s alone. He’s praying for strength to hold it together while nobody else even knows it’s happening. It’s heartbreaking.

This makes us sick and enraged. All too frequently that’s how racism is handled in our country. We pretend it’s not happening so we don’t have to confront it and deal with it. Instead, we all make excuses and shove racism under the carpet and deny its existence. Racism is dead because we have a African American president! It only remains in older people from a certain era in the south! If we pay lip service to it one time, we’ve done all we need to do. Get over it!

But we can’t get over it. In reality, racism is alive and well in America. We don’t do ourselves any favors as a society if we deny that. These cast members are a cross section of America and what’s happening out there. They hail from all over the country. They are young and educated. They are a part of the newly “enlightened” generation.

The only way to begin to combat these issues is to bring them out into the open. Denial isn’t going to cut it. We’ve got to shine a light on this ugliness so we can see it and root it out. Only by doing so can we start a truthful dialogue and get to work. And a lot of work needs to be done. This is reality, and we need to face it in order to change it. Anything else is unacceptable.



Racism For Ratings: Big Brother 15 — 162 Comments

    • Thank you so much for this comment. We really appreciate this…we could not agree with how you are feeling more.

      • As if racism didn’t turn your stomach enough. The comments have been not limited to race. There have been comments that are:

        Rape/Violence jokes
        Ethnic & Religious jokes


        • Oh, we have seen the gambit. We actually started out writing about all of it, but the piece was so long and unwieldy that we had to sharpen the focus. But we find ALL of the above equally offensive and disgusting, believe me. We could do whole posts about each one of them and this show. It’s really disgusting.

    • We are attempting this throughout the day on Twitter because CBS really should be called out for this. Feel free to RT us if you see it!

      • Thank you. I don’t live in the US first of all but I am truly outraged at the events of this season of BB, a much loved programme. I too have emailed CBS several times expressing my displeasure at the racism, bullying and homophobia. It touches all our lives, not just those enduring it. I don’t have a live feed subscription but there are enough videos on youtube now showing the disgusting goings on. I’ll never ever watch BB US again due to this and I have been a loyal watcher for years, never again. I only wish my boycott could take money out of the CBS coffers. Cheers from Canada, love your blog and your insight.

        • We’re with you. So glad you’ve emailed them, Christine. We have, too. We must let them know that allowing this to continue unfettered on their show is unacceptable…but purposefully editing around it to completely hide what they are allowing is despicable.

  1. Wow. I never would have seen that bc I don’t like reality tv. They should shut down that show immediately. And not pay those racists. So awful. And depressing. Good for you for getting the word out!

    • Thank you Stacie. It is really depressing. And we think they should shut down the show immediately, too.

  2. As much as I love me some good reality tv, I have never watched Big Brother and had no idea about this. It blows my mind that people would actually say these things, and even worse to hear that a major tv network is trying to make it seem like it’s not all that bad.

    I could not agree more that there is still a lot of racism in this country. I don’t we have necessarily progressed since the Civil Rights movements; if anything, it’s just less blatant. (Well, for some people at least.) I agree that bringing it out in the open is the only way we are going to make any true progress, and I wish CBS would use this as an opportunity to start a dialogue, rather than perpetuating the habit of hiding it under the rug.

    • We wish they would use it as an opportunity to start a dialogue, too Bev. It is really shame that inside they feel the need to attempt to hide it. Because, honestly, how can anything change if we continue to do that?

  3. Wow. I have never watched BB, and had no idea about this until reading this post. Sounds like CBS has missed a chance to turn this into a real teachable, soul-searching moment. I like your point about how we think racism is over because we have a black president – true, many of the injustices and blatant de jure discrimination of the past have been addressed, but it’s the subtle (or not so subtle) comments, language, and stereotypes that continue, and do real damage. Words matter, and I agree with you, we need to shine a light on this and what it reveals about this supposedly post-racial generation. Great post.

    • We really appreciate this comment Sarah. We could not agree with you more. It is the subtle nature of racism now that continues to damage everyone, most especially the victims of it. We need to ALL be talking and being honest about exactly what is *still* happening.

  4. I haven’t watched this show in quite a few years now. My mom actually had gotten me into many summer ago and even she stopped watching. This sounded awful though and seriously they (CBS) should not have been hiding it and just been honest from the get go. Thank you both for bringing this to light and seriously so happy I did stop watching!!

    • You definitely made the right call in stopping watching the show. It used to be fun and always had a few “villians” each season, but this summer has gone WAY too far. There is definitely a difference between someone you love to hate and someone who is just full of hate.

  5. I don’t watch the show and would have had no idea the problems had it not been for this post. And it’s disgusting that the producers tried to hide this. Thank you so much for writing this post. It will be the most important one I will read all day if not for a long time to come.

    • Oh Ilene, thank you for your words. We really appreciate them. It is disgusting. Because everyone should know about this.

  6. *sigh* I always watch BB every summer too, but this year, I’ve just been disgusted with the houseguests. I’m not watching the show this summer either. I’m keeping up with the happenings via @BigBrotherLeak on Twitter, but as far as giving them ratings, NOPE. Not me! I wish I could see Aaryn’s and Gina Marie’s reaction when they find out they don’t have jobs anymore!

      • Maybe a few emails to Amanda’s employers might make them think about giving her the sack. I hope so, she deserves it. I’ve never heard such filth from a young woman in my whole life.

  7. As you know I don’t really watch tv, and I have never even heard of this show. One might wonder if they chose those idiots just to create a charged and controversial situation on there. Complete trash. Honestly I don’t understand these shows where we want people to manipulate behind the scenes. I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who could do that…I don’t understand our society’s fascination with it either. Maybe it’s because I never watch…but it doesn’t seem right to me.

    • We understand exactly what you are saying Michelle. It is disgusting…the show did honestly used to be fun…with some drama, but now it is just gross.

  8. Sadly there’s no way CBS does a thing about it – Big Brother ratings are at an all time high. Google “Big Brother 2013 ratings” to see all the articles talking about the ratings surge, and how they’ve hit a viewership high, etc.

    • We don’t know Karen. We are assuming they are condoning it because they don’t care, which is disgusting.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you…the tv show , yeah, ok. I’m more happy that you’ve pointed out the continuing racism in this country. Too often I hear people say that racism is virtually gone, and as the mother of a biracial child, I cringe. I still worry every day for his safety…beyond the basic, daily worrying that every mom does.

    Recently, I discovered that some people I considered friends are the most racist people I know. They kept it under wraps…as if they were editing for tv too. One thing about that…I’d rather have them act up in my face than stab me in the back.

    • Sadly, we have had some of the same kind of experiences, too recently and it is just really shocking when you hear it come from someone who you thought was a nice, normal person.
      We *really* appreciate this comment so much Kat. And honestly, it makes us so sad that you have to worry about the safety of your son because he is biracial. That is just not fair. Or right. And we are sorry.

  10. No matter who you are in this cast, this season will forever be remembered as the “Racist season”. I hope they have to answer for all of their comments. I really wish once they enter the jury house, each are told they lost their jobs and given some of the outtakes up on you tube to mull over!!

    • Could not agree with you more on this comment. We sincerely hope that this season goes down in history as the worst racism ever seen (or not seen in the case of CBS’ editing) in the history of reality TV. They all deserve every real life consequence coming their way.

    • We have continued to follow along on Television Without Pity, so we know and have both found ourselves crying a lot.

  11. I have never watched the show, and never plan on it, either. Shows like this are a complete waste of time and money, and the fact that everyone is “dreaming” of their “big break” and trying to be as controversial as possible in order to increase ratings and their chance of being “discovered” for their 15 minutes of fame is even more disgusting. Good for you gals in standing up to this and bringing it to light.

    • It used to be such a funny mindless show to watch. This season has been simply revolting. It’s really so out of control we can’t believe CBS has not shut the whole thing down. It’s disgraceful.

    • What’s happening seems like it should be footage from some horrible bygone era. Unfortunately it isn’t. Some of the things these people say are just the worst things we’ve ever heard anywhere.

  12. I have come to the conclusion that most of the reality TV we are shown is not reality at all. This just proves that point. I think that most of the time, even on the news and such, we only see what “they” want us to see. I’ve never been a big reality TV fan and I don’t watch BB. Although this is sad, I dont’ find it surprising. 🙁

    • We know that they have to edit hours and hours of footage for a few hours of weekly TV. But other years, the people you’d see on the TV show did bear a resemblance to the people you could observe on the live feeds. This year–not at all. I guess it’s not surprising they are trying to shove it all under the rug. It makes us sick. We have no idea how Candice or Howard survived in that environment.

    • Exactly, Liz. With the new disclaimer they put before the show, it’s obvious they want to try to distance themselves from what these people are doing—but without actually putting an end to it or keeping others from being victimized by racists bullies. It’s disgusting.

  13. You know I love me some reality TV but I hate that instead of being entertained, we are forced to deal with the “one-upping”. Shows try and get new “hooks” or create the most drama ever. The fact that this show is where it’s at makes me want to say, “Are you freaking kidding me???” I am disgusted with CBS that they didn’t immediately kick the people that said things off sending a message that racist behavior will not be tolerated. Not for ratings and not for the sake of humanity. I am going to be sharing this to get the word out and hopefully more people will hit them where it hurts and that’s with ratings. Lower ratings means less money and that seems to be the only thing that matters to whomever decided this was a good plan.

    • We felt EXACTLY this same way. EXACTLY! When this started happening they could have booted those people right out and not put up with it. It SHOULD NOT be tolerated. Period. And you’re spot on. The only thing they care about is the bottom line. If their ratings go down, they lose money…they will not do this. There’s no moral reason that would persuade them. It’s disgusting.

  14. Good post. I will not be watching Big Brother ever. OK, I never did, but I feel better about it now. Hope they get your message.

    • Thanks, John. The watching even the little bit we did was just completely disturbing. It’s very eye opening as to how much work we really still need to do as a society when it comes to racism and bigotry.

  15. I love you guys so much. Like so much. I am sitting here tearing up tryin not to cry because of this and I am NOT a crier!! Wow.

    I am also the bigger big brother fan on the planet and I was also shocked and disgusted by what has happened this season. I have no words as to how bad it is but hearing your words and anger about it confirmed to me that this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on reality TV (and I watch a lot) thank you for bringing this to the forefront. I am beyond offended and disgusted that ginamarie claims ny. I don’t know how Candace and Howard did it because I already told everyone that it wouldn’t have been anything. I would have lost it and paid consequences later. Violence is not the answer but so help me if I ever caught Gina Marie in the streets!!

    I love you guys. Big hugs.

    I won’t be home for a while but when I get home I am going to share THE SHIT out of this post.

    • Oh, Nellie. Thank you *so much* for your comment. It means so much to us.

      This really is the worst stuff we’ve ever seen on TV…or frankly anywhere. It’s just so hateful. It’s unbelievable that they allow this to continue. Unbelievable. And then to let it continue and purposefully hide it so their cast looks just about squeaky clean. It turns our stomach.

      We have said countless times that we’d never be able to bear it with the grace that Howard and Candice have shown. Never in a million years.

      We love *you*, Nellie!!

  16. This is so absolutely disgusting. I don’t watch reality TV (ok, ok, I catch up with the Kardashians every once in a while!) but I have heard about the BB racist scandal. But this, this is AWFUL.
    My sister in law, hence my nieces, is Asian. Hearing the level of racist comments made to the Asian house member, the throwing around of the N-word, the demeaning of women…how can CBS stand by and DO NOTHING?
    Horrible. Thanks Dose Girls, for putting it out there.

    • Exactly, Christie. It’s absolutely awful. It’s hard to believe they have done nothing..but that’s the size of it. It’s opened our eyes in a big way to the racism that still exists in our society. We knew it was there, but the casual way these young people have thrown out slur after slur is chilling.

  17. I’m assuming the contestants know they are on a live feed — and they still do this? Are they really that dumb (probably), or is it some kind of ratings thing? Whatever it is, its stupid.

    DId you notice if you rearrange the letters in Aaryn’s name it spells Aryan? Coincidence or conspiracy?

    • That’s the other thing that is unfathomable, Bill. They absolutely know that everything they say is on camera! They think this is acceptable!

      (We had definitely notice the spelling of Aaryn’s name and have made that reference to each other often!)

  18. Subtle racism has always been the worst in America.
    I’d rather someone show complete racism than be subtle about it. It’s just sickening. We all bleed red…no one is exempt from death…why the hate?
    Why the racism? I just don’t get it and for a major television network to condone it just for ratings, is just sickening. I’ve never watched BB and thankfully never will.

    • They must be allowing it because of the money. It’s really that simple. We could not agree more with you, Khloe. If they aren’t going to stop it, they should get it out there so we can ALL be disgusted and realize the amount of work that needs to be done in our society rather than allow it to happen and then pretend it’s not.

  19. One of the best classes I took in undergrad was a class on Civil Rights. It opened my eyes to how hard people have fought through the ages for what rights we now take for granted. Millions of people have fought for the right to be free and to be equal–and many are still fighting. This particular class really put it into perspective for me the anguish, pain, and suffering of people who were not equal in others’ eyes. This is the type of class I think all freshmen should take–because it’s obvious racism, stereotyping, and discrimination still occur. In this day and age, you’d think this would be resolved and we could live peacefully–after all, we are all human beings (and spiritual beings). So what if we come from different cultures, believe in something different, or look different? I think part of people’s ignorance comes from how they are raised, and who their major role models and caretakers are. Part of people’s ignorance comes from their peer group. Who you “hang around with” has a lot of influence on you. I haven’t seen the clips nor do I watch the show, but I have a feeling that their statements will not go without some sort of backlash and repercussion. They are the minority. The majority of the U.S. believes in freedom and equality for all. I really believe that.

    • I hope you’re right, Nicole. As it currently stands, none of these people think they are doing anything wrong. You can tell it by the way the speak these atrocities so freely.
      I will say, when we saw Howard dealing with the aftermath of some of the words, it was eye opening (and soul crushing). The anguish and pain are just right there and so raw. I can’t believe this is happening in 2013…but it is.

      Thanks so much for your very thoughtful and thought provoking comment.

  20. Wow! I haven’t seen a single episode of this show and now I am so so glad. I have watched the videos and these people are just vile. It’s really sad to see people are still so ignorant and that CBS is just looking the other way. The show should be taken off air or if they want to show it, then they should show the real deal.

    • That is exactly what we think, Xae. Either shut it down (preferably to us), or at least show what is *actually* happening so we can see it and be disgusted and learn.

  21. Oh my, APPALLING. I had to turn off the video – I’m sorry. I want to give that man a hug. I have never seen this show. I actually have trouble with reality TV. It makes me cringe and feel squeamish. So I am doing my part to help by NOT watching. And of course, I stand behind you with tweeting, posting and all around getting this message the heck out there.

    • Seriously, Tamara. The first time we saw that video we just wept into our hands. Setting it up in the post, we could only watch the tiniest part without choking up. He should not be in that position. The fact they they are just allowing it to go unchecked and profiting from it sickens us.

  22. I am also very disgusted by the comments & behaviour in the house. I am even more disgusted that CBS is allowing this to continue. I am appalled that ratings are more important than showing the world that this behaviour is wrong and must not be tolerated. It is important to show the public, especially children, that spewing hate speech is wrong!! I also notice there is a certain houseguest that is quite the bully, and CBS is not warning her of her actions either. Id o not use the term ‘bully’ lightly. And, anyone can have a difference of opinion and stand up for themselves. BUT, when that person shouts racist, hurtful, derogatory remarks, and continues to be belligerent towards that person even after they have stopped the arguing and is probably even crying, then that IS bullying. C’mon CBS….take a stand and show the kids out there that there are consequences to being racist and being a bully. You have the platform here, now go and use it. CBS, do what is right!! Ignorance is just another form of support.

    • That’s exactly right, Tee. VERY well said. By allowing this to occur they are condoning it. It’s really that simple. They could have put an end to it to show that this is NOT acceptable, but they didn’t. It’s horrible.

  23. Oh this makes me both furious and sad! I really liked watching the show the season that Rachel and Brendan were on. She tripped me out, she was so cray-cray. But I’m glad I wasn’t watching this year. You are right, racism is far from dead, and should NOT be ignored. CBS should pull the plug on the show this season and say “these contestants do not deserve to be shown” or win for that matter. I read an article not too long ago about a sexual harassment and racism law suit, and in the article, the person actually states “We thought sexism and racism were dead in this country.” What stupid rock are those morons living under?
    Oh now you have me FIRED UP!

    • That’s exactly it, Alexa. It should NOT be ignored, which is exactly what they have done. And even worse, they are going out of their way to edit the worst offenders to look blameless. Disgusting.
      (We like fired up Kat Biggie. Go Kat, go!!)

  24. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Thank you so much for this post! Racism has all too long been swept under the rug and muffled out. It’s by time that we address it head on!
    I was one of those people who thought it (racism) was being done away with because young educated people aren’t racists, this season of Big Brother has showed me that I’m completely wrong and naive.
    It’s time for people like us to team up and truly call and pound racism out! Thank you for posting this!

    • We could not agree more, Mariann. We really thought the same thing. This really showed us we have further to go than we ever imagined. We all need to band together and get to work.

  25. Effing awful. I have not clicked your links yet because I am so pissed after reading this. I don’t watch the show but that is disgusting behavior. I think that it’s glossed over and left in some spots to make people watch and say, that’s not me or I don’t know people that ignorant. Awful.

      • omg. I just watched. I don’t know why, but I did. I watched the first one and was like, is this brunette girl trying to support the blonde or what? And then I saw the next one, and threw up a little. WTF is WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? OMG. Effing A.

        Also? Howard is beautiful. I watched him in one of the clips and he is beautiful. I want to be his friend. Or I want HIM to be the Bachelor. Uhm, oops, that’s your job.

        No matter, he probably will be done with reality TV after this sh!t. Poor Howard. Seriously. This is awful. *smh*

        • He is beautiful. He is truly one of those people who you just know is a kind soul. Having watched him in some interviews since he was kicked out of the house, we have been blown away by his grace. We are sorry that you had to suffer through the videos. They are horrific.

  26. Makes you wonder how many other programs/shows are overworking the edit button, doesn’t it? Just sad!

    You can only change the world one person at a time, and I choose to start with me and encourage from there. You have to be the change you want to see in the world or it will never happen. I applauded you gals for taking this public and speaking out. I is a great step in the right direction!

  27. {Melinda} Honestly, this kind of crap is why I hardly watch any reality TV. (The exception being Food Network Star). I am sickened by the VILE things that people say and do to each other. Without any conscience or remorse. Often, it’s just to get their “15 minutes” of fame. Disgusting. Good for you two for taking a stand and shining a light on it. Unfortunately, people who say these kind of things often have no shame.

    • They have no shame at all, Melinda. The way these things roll off their tongues without even a care. It’s amazing in a horrifying way. No remorse at all. You nailed that.

  28. Thank you for doing more to shine light on this disgraceful issue. Like yourself, I was also a huge fan of this show. I do not purchase the live feeds but have heard about the racial remarks, through social media, by more than one houseguest as CBS only tried to make it seem as if it was only one but then still they didn’t even do anything to get rid of her. I am of Puerto Rican descent and I watched in great disbelief as Amanda sat talking about Puerto Rican people and called Candice “the monkey”. I am absolutely outraged how CBS has stood by and allowed such behavior go on. For ratings you say? Well, I personally don’t think it’s for ratings because the show is always in the top 5 during the season it is aired. I have watched seasons when production have evicted players for far worse than what is going on now but for whatever reason they choose to allow these 3 girls to degrade people with their pathetic comments. Julie Chen being of Asian descent and being the host and the wife of CBS owner should be addressing this as well. I hope and pray that this is getting the attention of those who can make and/or pressure CBS to take action very soon. I mean, come on, at the least these 3 girls should be expelled from the show. For CBS to not take action is simply disgusting. Really CBS?!! Two of these girls have already lost their jobs due to their comments so CBS should have been dismissed these girls. I’m sorry Howard. It is heartbreaking. Nobody should have to tolerate that especially when production could put a stop to it! CBS and those 3 girls are lucky because not all people are level headed and of sound mind when it comes to such a sensitive topic and being disrespected. Them girls could’ve been harmed and injured. Please don’t boost the ratings or support ignorance. Stop watching the show and cancel your live feed subscriptions people. Today it can be racism, tomorrow it might be something that affects you, your family and/or friends.

    • We can’t believe they have allowed this to go on unchecked, too, Nicole. You’re right, there are three people, at a minimum, who should have been removed from the house weeks ago. What Candice and Howard have endured at their hands is unacceptable. How Julie Chen 9 (the wife of the head of CBS and the host of the show) and the people at CBS live with themselves for allowing this to continue and then covering it up, I’ll never know.

  29. I don’t watch the show but I’ve been hearing a lot about this situation over the last week or so. Unfortunately I’m not surprised because as you’ve mentioned, the show is supposed to be a microcosm of the world we live in and there are plenty of people like them out here. I haven’t seen a video (of a complete stranger) that has evoked so much emotion from me in a long time. As a Black man I completely empathize and understand what that young man was feeling at that moment.

    It’s a lot harder to “turn the other cheek” when you’ve been repeatedly, maliciously and blatantly attacked. Though I wonder if they’d be as bold with their abusive behavior outside the confines of a television show where they feel safe and free to act that way with no fear of repercussions?

    Shame on CBS for not being as proactive as you ladies and others who are voicing their disdain for this mess. Great job.

    (p.s. – found your link from a Retweet and I plan to do the same)

    • That video just stopped us dead in our tracks. It was just the the most heart wrenching thing we’d ever seen. There is the pain and anguish caused by racism right there in front of you raw and real. And Howard has dealt with these people in the house with a grace and poise that we’d never be able to muster.

      We’ve got to make it clear that we, as a people, will not tolerate this. Period.

      Thank you for taking the time to write such a heartfelt and thoughtful comment, Cp.

  30. I haven’t watched the show in a while and I’m disgusted to hear this is happening. I know there are some guilty pleasures I have that makes me want to quit them but I keep going back. Good for you on boycotting BB and getting the word out.

    • Thanks, Jean. If you haven’t seen the show in awhile, you wouldn’t even recognize it. Seeing this season would make it easy never to come back.

  31. Not a show I watch, but this is outrageous!! I can’t believe that more people have not been outraged. I guess somehow they get the ratings – any way they can. Disgusting.

    • What really got us, Leah, was that internet viewers did seem outraged at first….but then they just seemed to forget all about it and move on. It was like people got used to it.

  32. This is why I love you girls. Because you know how to have fun, but you also know when an important issue needs to come to light. I don’t watch Big Brother, and I’m disgusted by the comments that were made. It makes you wonder how many other shows have hidden blatantly racist remarks. Thank you for bringing attention to this show. I hope more people will boycott it.

    • Thanks, Jennifer. We don’t usually do serious pieces so when we do it’s a bit of a departure–but sometimes it has to be done. It really does make you wonder what else is out there in shows (or just in people you know down the street) that you don’t realize. That’s disturbing to think about.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing this! I watched the first season of Big Brother, but haven’t seen it since. This situation is one reason I don’t watch reality TV. The editing is terribly misleading and in this case, ridiculously offensive. Sharing!

    • Thanks, Amy. You’re right that there isn’t much reality in reality tv. I’ve never really cared as long as it’s harmless and silly fun. But this, obviously, is the farthest thing from that.

  34. I refuse to click the link or circulate such foolishness. You two are correct: we don’t do ourselves any favors by pretending certain societal ills don’t exist. I’m exhausted with the foolishness but so elated to know that outrage does not begin and end with those who are directly offended by such racism and discrimination. We are all impacted. Good for The Dose Girls. Thank you for addressing this and shame on this show and the network for doing anything for a dollar. Sick.

    • You know, we questioned putting the links in for just that reason, but decided to do it so people could see for themselves if they wanted. We don’t blame you for not clicking. We both wish we never had. We couldn’t agree with you more…we are all impacted by this and we should all do something about it.

  35. I don’t watch Big Brother or any other “reality” television but I thank you for your post. It really does sound like the network is letting it continue in the name of ratings because even negative publicity is good publicity due to the controversy, people will tune it to see what’s going on & it boosts their ratings. It is disgusting. I would never last in that environment.

    I applaud you for using your platform (when you definitely did not have to) to speak out against this. . .I think this is how we start to open up dialogue by not sitting by passively even if something doesn’t directly affect us (ultimately it will affect us all) because being apathetic to this kind of behavior is equally as appalling. The Dose Girls ROCK!

    • That’s it, Tracie. Even negative publicity is good publicity. Apparently this has made their ratings soar. They are probably thrilled. Disgusting.

      You have hit the nail on the head. We’ve got to open a dialogue. We don’t have a shot of change if we don’t do that. This is our country and our society–it does affect us all. (In some ways we think being aware of it but shrugging it off is almost a worse offense)

  36. Ladies!!!! You really nailed it with this one. I don’t know what to say. Kudos for stepping up! This is an extreme MUCH NEEDED Dose of Reality! I didn’t watch anyway, but I’m officially boycotting now.

    • Thanks, Joi! We usually stay on the lighter side of things, but sometimes a dose of reality is required elsewhere.

  37. I don’t watch the show either, but I am disgusted that the powers to be would think this is even close to okay. I also completely agree with you, we do need to shine light on racism and stop denying it’s existence. Thank you for an important post!

    • Thanks for the support, Kathy. We still can’t believe they allow this to continue unfettered. It’s shocking to us.

  38. I am so disgusted it’s not even funny. I know racism still exists because I’ve experienced it. But every time I hear of an incident, it literally tunes my stomach. I think that the fact that CBS would not only condone it, but try to cover it up while portraying these known racists in a positive light just for ratings is Sickening. It’s partly the closet racist that continue to perpetuate the problem and also the folks that give a blind eye.

    I applaud you ladies for shedding a light on what’s going on and calling it exactly what it is… RACISM. I love that you take a stand for what is right. Shame on CBS and BB.

    • It’s the closeted racists that are the scariest, Hope. Earlier this summer I was talking to a lady who I thought was a nice, normal person. I’ve known her awhile. My daughter plays at her house! I guess she finally felt comfortable enough to “let her hair down” and made a few racial remarks off the cuff to me. I was completely dumbfounded (and thoroughly disgusted).

      It really made me wonder how many other people I thought were normal are like this behind closed doors. It just made me feel so sad. Then this season of Big Brother started. It was like a one-two punch in the gut as to what kind of work we still have to do to stamp out racism.

      • That is so sad. You never know. I just hope the younger generation continues to break the cycle and not tolerate it …even if its in their own home.
        There is so much work to be done.

  39. Wow! It makes me sick to know that these people would be so bold as to say these things when they know they are being filmed for national television! To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: It’s one thing for people to think you are a racist @$$hole, but another to show your true self and remove all doubt!

    • It’s totally shocking that they think this is appropriate. They must because they have no problem just spewing it all out knowing that everything is captured by cameras. Mind-boggling.

  40. WOW! Maybe I’m naive but I’m truly shocked that this happened! What is wrong with people??? I’ve never watched that show and now I’m especially glad. GOOD FOR YOU GIRLS for bringing this to light!

    • When we saw the first inklings of it we thought CBS would lower the boom quickly and other people on the show would step up to condemn this behavior. When they joined in instead and CBS happily did nothing, we were equally shocked. We were naive, too. We don’t feel that way any longer. Maybe it’s good to have our eyes opened to what is really out there.

  41. It disgusts me that they have allowed the show to continue that way. I’m not a viewer (and won’t be) but by letting it go on for the sake of ratings, it makes me disrespect the network as a whole. The execs should take a step back and look at that. Is this one train wreck of a show worth losing viewers (and sponsors) across the board for all their other shows? I would think not. If they don’t have the integrity to see how ethically wrong it is, maybe hitting them in the pocketbook will be a wake up :/

    • We honestly think hitting them in the pocketbook is the only thing that probably makes a difference. Ethics and integrity don’t seem to mean much to them, that’s for sure. Depressing and discouraging, but there you go. Maybe we should stop writing CBS and start writing their sponsors. Hmmmm….

  42. I am appalled! I can’t even believe that these horrible people get the possibility of winning that kind of money. I know they want controversy for ratings but this is downright disgusting. Glad I’m not a fan of the show.

    • Isn’t that the rub. CBS has let this continue and very well may hand half a million dollars to one of these people. Disgusting.

  43. I have been watching the feeds and the episodes. I have been hoping that this would be a learning opportunity, a chance for us to begin a discussion of the prevalence of racism, sexism, homophobia and misogynistic behavior that typically goes unchallenged. I thought *just maybe* we could use some of the many teachable moments to really begin a dialogue.

    Wishful thinking on my part. I have been dismayed, no, horrified at how this has been handled not only by CBS but by the viewers as well. As you have said, CBS has shown a completely skewed perspective. Not only that, this could have been a great opportunity for CBS to air a special addressing these issues.

    On another note, (I could go on forever, so I’ll try and quickly sum this up), the behavior of those on the live feeds has been vile and disgusting. Amanda’s (a house guest on BB for those not watching) comments have been terrible, but many of the viewers have been calling Amanda every 4 letter word, threatening her life and sending her family hate mail. I was called a bitch and a cunt because I said calling Amanda a cunt was just as bad as what Amanda said. Has everyone gone crazy? Two wrongs don’t make a right. Its ugly out there. You were right to cancel your live feed.

    The other day a houseguest (Judd) said he would kick a transsexuals teeth out. He’s being hailed as ‘the nice one’. Yeah, real nice.

    I just keep telling myself none of this is representative of the actual population.

    • Exactly Andrea! It seems if anyone points out that the so-called “nice” players say disgusting things also, people shoot the messenger.
      About half the comments on here are by people who don’t even watch the show!
      I wrote CBS directly after the bed flipping incident but it has become a systematic witch hunt by the *fans* to destroy the lives of both players and families, if they are not their favourites. If you’re going to go on a witch hunt, then make sure you show it all.

    • You have hit the nail on the head, Andrea. These things that have gone on in this house: the racism, misogyny, homophobia, and antisemitism we’ve seen have gone completely unchallenged. Although horrible, they could have been used to affect change. Instead they are used to make more money.

      And you’re right about the irony of people decrying this repulsive behavior by throwing around threats and saying equally horrific things. What in the world?!. What is wrong with people?!

      Even the cast members that are thought of as being “the nice ones” have said absolutely appalling things. I pray that this doesn’t represent our general population. But what if it does? That thought is chilling.

  44. I am so sickened that this has happened and hasn’t been made more public. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but agree this story needs to be told. Thank you!

    • What really bothered us was that a tiny bit of lip service was paid a while back, then it was totally dropped. It was like, “There! We said two things. Now let’s pretend it’s all over and move along.” No way!

  45. WOW!!! I have never watched Big Brother but almost started the new season after hearing so many people talk about it. Now, I’m super glad that I didn’t because I wouldn’t have done the subscription so I wouldn’t have known about all of this until just now!!!
    I can’t stand this kind of thing!! We just watched the movie 42 and I hate what Jackie Robinson and his wife (and 10000s of others) had to go through!!!
    I will never understand the thought process behind all of the prejudices in the world!

    • It’s funny that you mention the movie because when you see this stuff, it totally seems like it should be in some movie about a different era. That’s how shocking it is. Could this be taking place in 2013. Unfortunately, yes, it is.

  46. I’m so proud of you for taking action both by dropping your subscriptions and by shining a light on this, especially for those of us who don’t watch the show. My daughter-in-law is Korean and Chinese and encounters thinly disguised racism all the time. It’s shocking and disgusting. We all need to stand up to the morons who say these terrible things. Thanks for using your blogging megaphone for that purpose.

    • It’s so sad and maddening that your daughter-in-law has felt this way. I’m so sorry. We haven’t come as far as we thought we had when it comes to racism in this country. We have a lot of work to do. A lot.

  47. Wow. This is making me so glad that I stopped watching that show years ago. Those videos are definitely horrific; and why they don’t kick people off the show for making so many hateful comments is beyond me.

    • Amen. They should have done exactly that at the very beginning. Instead they do nothing and then edit these people into sweethearts for the TV show even though their actual words and actions are there 24/7 on the internet.

  48. I agree with most everything said but some obvious things have been left out. Racism is one of the most common problems with this show however one of the african american cast members, Candice, has said some less then classy things: She said GD over and over in her house meeting and has called Jessie brainless, stupid and other very mean things and seems to hold a grudge most of the time. She lies repeatedly and yet thinks she never does anything wrong. I believe strongly that Jessie has been the victim of more bullying, gang type verbal abuse and hateful and mean talk then maybe anyone. She is one of the few in the cast who is basically kind to everyone and used over and over because of her trust in others. Yes, you could call her naive and gullible but she still doesn’t deserve the abuse, bullying and gang type mentality. Overall, I’m totally disgusted with this shameful and cruel behavior on this show. The YouTube videos are disgusting and so revealing of how different the network broadcast is from what is actually happening. Amanda, Aaryn and Ginamarie and also Spencer should all be expelled or the show should be shut down and the money donated to charity for programs working to end bigotry, bullying and racism.

    • We agree. We actually started this piece talking about all of the disgusting things we’d seen–the misogyny, the homophobic slurs, the antisemitism, the outright bullying–but we had to reel it in. It became so big and so long we had to narrow the focus so it would be readable. But you are absolutely right. There has been a great deal of other disgusting and despicable behavior by these contestants that the show has not touched on in any way. At least half of them could be immediately expelled for horrific things they’ve said.

  49. I would like to add to my previous comments. I believe this was shown in the amanda zuckerman youtube video: Amanda talked about raping, hitting, torturing and raping of Jessie and I believe Ginamarie and Aaryn have said similar things about jessie and others. Spencer has said some things about Jessie and females in general that are too gross and cruel to even try to repeat. This has become a completely classless and outright mean show. I believe people displaying this kind of hate could go on to actually commit physical abuse to others, although sometimes I think that the verbal abuse can do even more harm to others.

  50. Big Brother UK had an issue of racism a few years back, it’s shocking how people will behave to others, especially on national television!

    • You know, we heard something about his on a website. Someone had mentioned that there was a similar situation on the UK version, and they handled it much differently than this season. It is chilling how comfortable people are saying these things on national TV. They think it’s normal.

  51. This is an excellent post. racism/ sexism/ all the -isms make me so nauseated. bullying in general makes me sick, but this sort of thing is just vile. and these people are being rewarded for it. its amazing that reality tv can turn pretty nice people into villains for the sake of the show and turn villains into “sweethearts”. its pathetic.

    • This entire thing is nauseating. At the end of the day, we still wonder…is that really what it’s like out there in our country? That thought makes us depressed…and determined to root it out and stamp it out whenever we can. This has got to change.

  52. I’m so proud of you for bringing this to the public’s attention. You wrote a very chilling piece. From this view, racism isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse. Scary images. Tragic events could occur. This is a form of “bullying” as well and should not be tolerated. Abuse like that can make people do drastic things. So sad. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day!

    • It’s abusive pure and simple. You’re absolutely right, Vicki. It should not be tolerated and (in this case) potentially rewarded with money. This is not acceptable.

  53. I’m appalled by the sentiments of a lot of people in this country still. Flabbergasted at some of my in-law’s backhanded comments. Sure, CBS is culpable and needs to come forward and expose the participants responsible, but we are all responsible in calling out this behavior when we see it.
    Good job girls!

    • Exactly. We are all responsible for calling it out when we see and hear it. I find myself doing that with my in-laws as well. We appreciate you taking the time to read this and share it.

    • Thank you so much Sue. We appreciate this very much. It is an issue that cannot continue to be ignored.

  54. This is another reason why I don’t like to watch “reality” TV because its not real. It doesn’t expose what is really going on. This is ridiculous and of course, since it makes them money, they are turning a blind eye.

  55. Wow. I am sickened. I’ve never watched BB so I had no idea this was happening. I’m disgusted that there are people out there who, for some unknown reason, think that this kind of behavior is acceptable. I’m even more disgusted that the network has done nothing but ignore it. What kind of message does that send? Disgusting.

    • It certainly sends the wrong message in our opinion. It should have been shut down immediately and the message should have been clear. Racism will not be tolerated. Sadly, it has really been the opposite.

  56. Wow. I can’t believe that, it absolutely sickens me. I don’t watch Big Brother, but I hope like hell Howard wins. Shame on CBS.

    • We wish he could win, too Jenny. Sadly, he was voted off last week. He has a tremendous amount of class and grace. More than we would ever have.

  57. I’ve heard about this on the news and it’s just terrible! It’s been about 4 years since I’ve actually watched Big Brother and will probably never watch again because of this. Good for you two for boycotting the show!

    • I’m glad that you’ve heard about what is happening in there, Jeanne. We hate the idea that CBS is able to cover it all up and pretend it’s not happening.

  58. I just watched the Thursday live show and seeing Helene cheer on Gina on Aaryn for getting out “the schemer” Judd tells me that either the houseguests don’t care about the racism or the 500 large has bought their souls.

    Julie Chen looks disgusted with it all.

    • Most of the houseguests don’t seem to care at all. Many of them would just laugh like hyenas when racial remarks were made. The only people that we never saw do that were Howard, Candice, Elissa, and Jessie.

      We’re actually really disappointed in Julie Chen. She could do and say so much, but she stuck with the CBS script that only Aaryn was responsible for the racists attitudes in the house. It is so disappointing.

  59. None of this is “shocking” to me and I’m not sure why it is to anyone else, either. This is how people are, every day, in this country.

    I don’t watch BB and I haven’t for a few years, but from my twitter time line the racism isn’t so “subtle”. People make mentions of it every time this show airs.

    • We may be naive, but we do find it shocking that CBS would tolerate racism and even seek to profit from it.

  60. Nothing like pimping for ratings. I never liked the show and with this hate mongering I am convinced even more so that I made the right decision in never having watched it. Why it is allowed to continue is beyond me but may be a reflection of a part of our society…sadly. Oh and hi from #SitsSharefest

    • Thanks for stopping by. We just can’t believe they’ve allowed it to continue and that they are paying these people.

  61. I read the live feed updates and have been amazed at the stuff they’ve been saying. The only thing crazier is that Aaryn and GinaMarie are both still in the game and Aaryn has been behaving better so they won’t vote her out and somehow we’re supposed to forget who she really is!

    • Honestly, I can’t tell you how much that irks me. We’re supposed to forget the heinous things she says because she’s faking being nice to people now to try to win the money. BLECH. Unfortunately, I think it might work for the most part—but not on me!!

  62. Wow. I can’t believe I missed this the first time! You know what frustrates me the most is the people on the Mamapedia post (thank you for your comment, btw) essentially denying that racism is real… and in the face of situations such as this. Disgusting.

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