Does Big Brother make us racist?

If Big Brother is a social experiment into human behaviour then the first 3 evictions tell us two things.

Threats are eliminated. Diverse Australians are the biggest threat.

Three of three eliminations have been of Fijian, Chinese and South Korean heritage. A further housemate, of African heritage was also nominated.

Laura, a vegan choreographer described as a “#bossbitch” who doesn’t back down in an argument, was first to go. She was followed by Allan, a self-described master manipulator with “tiger parents.” Third to leave was “fit as hell” Soobong.

All three were perceived overwhelmingly by housemates, as a threat.

Yet according to the show’s media kit they were also “fabulous and unique” (Laura), “happy to showcase his culture, values and belief” (Allan) and “one of the happiest human beings you’ll ever meet” (Soobong).

But in the frenzy of Reality TV, not everything makes it to air. Especially, in the case of Soobong, when you are up for nomination not long after being inserted into the house. In previous Big Brother seasons, newest housemates were always immune from nomination so that viewers could get to know them first.

While Seven’s season is actually more diverse than most previous seasons, did producers ensure heroes and villains were balanced in the mix? Or does the show make us look at the best and worst in humankind?

Regardless, last night some viewers were not happy with an emerging trend, taking to social media to question the casting.

But if there is room for optimism, perhaps it lays with Kenyan-born Angela, who arrived with some fury but whose unfiltered personality is now making her one of the show’s early stars.

As Trevor Butler, winner of BB 2004, reminds us, sometimes the show can surprise even the most cynical critic.

58 Comments:

  1. I hear everyone’s comments and understand where they’re coming from. That being said…

    I believe Australia does have a racist problem: while some argue the POC were evicted because they were a threat, the subconscious mind tells us they are a threat because they are POC. There’s no blame: I believe as a society we’re conditioned from birth to react this way. Until we can admit this and agree to do better, there will be no change.

    While were at it, we may want to look at our Alcohol and gambling problems as well. A lot of denial going on there as well!

  2. I think it’s a sign of the times that this question had to be asked but Seven didn’t exactly paint these people in a positive light–at least not the first two–and I missed the third episode so I am not sure about the newest new housemates.

    Since this isn’t live it was the perfect opportunity for Seven to paint them however they wanted…Is it Australia that’s racist or Seven trying to apply MRK tactics to a different show?

    • Not sure what your point here is. Let’s say 7 did paint them in a bad light. What difference would that make to the housemates living with them and evicting them? Which is the perceived issue at hand here.

      • It is all in the editing. If the producers want to make it appear that the people were evicted based on race, then they show anything that supports that view, and cuts out anything that shows other reasons for the eliminations. Standard competition show shenanigans.

  3. David knox could you be any obvious that your trying to underpin a racist element whenever someone has their own opinion on the matter!!! Your position here is to give others a forum to speak not spew your radicalized left opinions on everyone you see isnt taking the bait!!! Personally my favorite on the show is Angela yet I’m so glad to see the back side of those who have left the BB house for reasons that have nothing to do with race!!

  4. To anyone questioning possible prejudices I suggest looking at the instagrams of some of these house mates. Looks like these people are selective of the diversity of their social groups outside of the house too.

  5. to TV or not to TV

    I really don’t think it as racist as much as perhaps implicit bias. As humans we are drawn to people like us, it’s only racist when discrimination occurs. I didn’t see that in these episodes. Tahlia gunning for Angela during the nomination process really did start to annoy me as there was no (valid) reasoning behind it.

    • Implicit bias is just a fancier phrase for racism. And probably the most insidious kind, a bit like when people say “I’m not racist, it’s just my preference.” It is simply not good enough to accept bias as an acceptable argument anymore.

      We are not drawn to “people like us” – frankly, this is a derogatory sentiment in and of itself. Bias is learned through the failure of the culture in Australia to represent people of all races equally. It is our responsibility to ensure this doesn’t continue.

      • to TV or not to TV

        Disagree. Implicit bias is not a fancier phrase for racism… think of implicit bias more as “stereotyping”, hardly insidious.

        Yes, humans are drawn to people like themselves and for you to infer it as derogatory is ludicrous. “People like themselves” form communities, in the real world and online.

  6. It’s the same thing pretty much every BB season that has been on. It’s just like high school, the “popular” ones band together, may permit one or 2 slightly less normative people to be part of the circle but ultimately the outsiders will be whittled away.

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