“Big Brother” host Julie Chen Moonves addressed the microaggressions and bullying houseguest Taylor Hale has faced on the reality show’s 24th season, suggesting it is a result of the series’ “pressure cooker” environment.
“Microaggressions are real and they happen,” the TV personality said in an interview with E! News. “I don’t think most people, when they are committing it, that they are even aware of what they’re doing.”
She continued: “I think that with the live feeds it is easy. I think what we need to do is ask ourselves, ‘Who am I? Who is anyone to judge somebody else?'”
“We haven’t walked in their shoes. We haven’t been in the Big Brother house,” Moonves said, referencing the show’s format, where 16 strangers isolate in one house together. “We haven’t been in that pressure cooker situation. And a lot of times when someone is feeling insecure about themselves, or seeing another individual as a threat to their game, that’s when you see classic Big Brother ‘I’m going to trash talk someone behind his or her back.'”
Upon its Season 24 premiere on July 6, many fans pointed out the bullying of Hale, who is Black. As more episodes of the new season rolled out, former “Big Brother” competitors weighed in on how Hale was being treated. “Watching Taylor cry really broke me down,” Tiffany Mitchell, who founded The Cookout, tweeted. “I could never imagine what she feels like to be alone WEEK 1 when there are 15 other people in that house. It’s giving Kemi BB21.”
Over the past 20 years, the show has routinely been criticized for racism and discrimination toward its houseguests of color. It was only last year that The Cookout alliance ensured that a Black houseguest won the series, a first in “Big Brother” history.