‘Big Brother’ Producers and CBS Deny Casting Is ‘Racially Motivated’ Amid Backlash

Big-Brother-Producers-and-CBS-Deny-Casting-Is-Racially-Motivated
Jessica Milagros, Christie Murphy, Ovi Kabir,Analyse Talvera, David, Alexander, Kathryn Dunn, Cliff Hogg, Sam Smith, Jackson Michie, Holly Alexander,Jack Matthews, Tommy Bracco, Kemi Fakunle, Nick Macaroni, Isabella Wang, and Nicole Anthony on Big Brother. Monty Brinton/CBS

Big Brother producers and CBS spoke out about allegations of racism and offensive remarks among the season 21 cast.

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Big Brother is a multi-platform reality competition show about a group of people who live in a house for several months with no contact from the outside world. The audience is able to view the show during the multiple weekly broadcasts as well as on the 24/7 live, online stream, which captures unedited content of the contestants’ unfiltered moments in the house,” they said in a joint statement to Us Weekly on Thursday, July 25. “At times, the houseguests say things that we do not condone.”

The statement continued: “We share some of the viewers’ concerns about inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, and producers have addressed specific incidents with the houseguests involved. However, there is absolutely no truth that the casting of the show is racially motivated, that the houseguests’ behavior is predetermined or that the outcome is controlled in any way.”

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Earlier this month, season 21 contestant Kemi Fakunle addressed her castmates’ conduct on Twitter. “I am extremely disappointed and disgusted by the behavior I am being made aware of that occurred thus far in the Big Brother house,” she wrote on July 20. “The degrading and threatening comments made by some houseguests and laughed at by others are outrageous and hard to see. I am saddened to be associated with such a negative display of human character and am horrified that this is now a part of my life story.”

While the marketing strategist thanked fans “for all of the love and support,” she asked that they stop making negative comments in an effort to defend her. “I do not want to perpetuate the same negativity that I received in the house,” she explained.

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Houseguest Jack Matthews sparked controversy earlier in the season by making remarks on the live feed that viewers believed were racist and aggressive. Not only did he call his costar a “maggot,” but he also said he wanted to “stomp a mud-hole through [Kemi’s] chest.” His treatment of Fakunle extended to the television broadcast too.

Matthews later took aim at Isabella Wang, referring to her as “rice pudding.” He eventually walked back his comment by saying it was a “misconception” and implying that he received feedback from producers about it.

His behavior prompted one fan to launch a petition for CBS to kick him off the show.

Big Brother airs on CBS Sundays at 8 p.m. ET and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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