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« Kaitlin's Return To TV? | Main | The Night Owl »

50 Shades of Wrong

Big Brother just didn't feel right these last few days.

On the one hand, I assume that any of this week's Power of Veto competitors -- Amanda, Candice, Gina, Jessie, Judd, and Spencer -- had nearly equal chances of being stuck with the dog cone, the clown suit, or the repeated spray tans. As long as producers intended no specific "punishment" for any specific house guest, perhaps we should think that all is as it should be in a game show which is outrageous by design.

GinaMarie & Candice, neither looking especially happy.On the other hand, in a season already infamous for insensitive, incendiary house guest commentary, why would CBS allow producers to design competition outcomes which seek to produce humor and/or humiliation by changing participants' appearances into caricatures? Candice was targeted early on by racial comments ... which, whether spoken in malice or ignorance, were unquestionably inappropriate. Now Big Brother dresses Candice as a clown, practically inviting us to laugh at the character she was required to become? After days of this, it's no wonder she mostly stayed in seclusion on Monday. And what would everybody be saying if, instead of Amanda, Aaryn had been the one to have the color of her skin changed so drastically?

It's as if they're trying to morph #BB15 into a farcical reverse-psychology whacky after-school special on race relations.

Candice's clown outfit; Amanda after repeated spray tans.At best, this is uncomfortable. At worst, it's outright disrespectful. I'm not necessarily sayin' the producers shouldn't have gone ahead with plans which were probably in place before the season started. I'm just sayin' that it troubles me when factoring in the present context.

This is an honest reaction from a newbie's perspective, and my commitment to sharing the remaining #BB15 experience with you is unchanged. But CBS should recognize that events like these do not particularly inspire new viewers to come back next year.

CBS added a disclaimer to the feeds and broadcast this season for the first time in show history. Do I need my own disclaimer? These views are mine only, offered with zero offense-causing intent, in the hope of inspiring civil, respectful discourse even if we disagree. Comment here or chirp @uselesstraffic.

Back to normal (if there is such a thing) next time at the Newbie Desk: Making sense of the different daily activities, weekly competitions, and TV schedules.

References (2)

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    Big Brother 15 Gossip - Big Brother Gossip - 50 Shades of Wrong
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    Big Brother 16 Gossip - Big Brother Gossip - 50 Shades of Wrong

Reader Comments (10)

Well said! I've been a fan of this show for years and there's always controversy. It's usually from one or two people. It's never been this crazy! I find solace in the real world repercussions waiting to great the evicted houseguest so I can still enjoy the show.
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChire
You're reading way to much into the situation. People are so fast these days to their outrage over language, or in this case spray tans. If they targeted Candice and made her wear a minstrel outfit you might have a point. As far as I know a clown has never been some sort of racial thing. All the punishments were made to make the house guest look stupid in some way or another. They're punishments not rewards. I don't see any real difference in the house guests behavior this season compared to any of the previous season. There was always racist/homophobic comments from one or more house guests. There's always been bullying. People have been mocked with carachetures of themselves and it hasn't blown up like this. Everyone needs to relax and either watch the show/feeds or don't. It's your choice but the moral outrage that people have these days is getting readiculious.
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichard
I appreciated your commentary. As a black woman, mother and teacher, I think this is a clear reflection of our society. Not just in terms of race relations, but also in terms of the strong preying on the weak AKA bullying. This is unfortunately what we have become! While most of the offensive comments came from Aaryn, GM and Amanda, I am more alarmed by the "so called" players in the BB house who choose to stay silent for fear of being put on the block. I would much rather see someone say "This may be a game, but we still have a responsibility to treat each other humanely" regardless of the possible consequences. Clearly, they all remain compliant due to fear of being the outcast. Everyone wants to "belong". This same scenario plays out every day around us! We should take note.
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosianne
Well said Richard. The clown unitard is upsetting the viewers more than it is Candice. In fact, Candice said the favorite part of BB for her is the clown unitard. It never entered my mind the spray tan had anything to do with the color of skin. Gina Marie & Elissa are envious of Amanda getting to use the tanning booth. Gina Marie tried to rub it on her while Amanda was still wet. The kind of comments made in the article just incite outrage.
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoban
These punishments have been a staple of BB since the early years. The unitard/clown suit is always part of the show. What has brought it to the forefront and a source of outrage by some fans is the result of the words and actions by some of the house guests this season. It is unfortunate that Candice was the one to "win" the clown suit this season based on what she has had to endure this season. I do admire her grace in seeming to embrace it as just a part of the game. As for Amanda being 10 shades of orange it couldn't of happened to a more deserving person! :-)
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEl Lobo
The 50 shades of orange punishment is super fun to watch as a viewer. I love that they have these keeps things interesting to watch. And if you consider that there are no have-nots this week, most HG's would probably chose any of these punishments over a week of slop, cold showers, and crappy sleeping conditions. At least they know they will get some serious camera time this week.
I think the time when BB had Aaryn select the have-nots (her first HOH) was more disrespectful considering who she chose. If production was concerned about the outrage over the bigotry in the house, they probably shouldn't have let Aaryn select the have-nots that week!
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Well said Josianne. This season reminds me very much of the quote from David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, "The weak are meat, the strong do eat."
I think the bullying is really bad this season and way below the belt. What a complete nightmare to be in a high stress situation and be singled out for your ethnicity or sexual preference compounded by being forced to not respond, unable to leave or isolate yourself from it and instead have to rise above it every moment of every day and be ridiculed as sensitive if you complain, absolutely insane.
Yet that is why I watch Big Brother and it is equally fascinating to me how fans excuse and explain the blatantly racist, sexist and homophobic behaviors away. It really speaks about us as a society. It is painful to watch but I glad it is out there. Perhaps the next time you hear racist speech and think it's no big deal you'll remember Candice crying in the bathroom. Someone will.
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaileanah
All I would like to say is thank you Laileanah for including sexist and homophobic along with the racism. Too many people are just focused on the race issue. It's not any better for someone to speak derogatory about your sex or sexual preference and several houseguest have done that as well. That being said, the show is about seeing people for who they are 24/7 with no filter (unless we have FISH of course) and every season I've watched has someone somewhere who makes an inappropriate comment. I just read the other day that Jessie said "that's gay". A simple saying that causes a lot of heartache with it's meaning. Should the show or CBS be punished for it? No way! And a small side note for Josianne; one of the people you named (Amanda) did try to talk to Aaryn several times about her comments. Unfortunately with Aaryn it's more blatant ignorance than anything and she twisted it around.
August 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbadisdizzie
I agree with Kate, Richard, and the others the talked about how punishments have always been a staple on BB and people are just freaking out way more than normal, what about blonde Jordan and the unitard she had to wear with the spinny hat? Is that wrong because the audience (not all, but a lot of them) perceive her as ditzy and had to dress childishly? I don't think so- I laughed my ass off. People need to relax.
August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlisha
OMG, get over it. This is a GAME!! Specifically a game in which people are free to make an ass of themselves. They all know the rules when they sign up to play. This year has been better because of the drama! If you want rainbows and swan go watch Touched by an Angel. Or better don't watch BB! Then you won't be offended.
August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKimba

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