Big Brother US criticised for contestant enduring microaggressions

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive
Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive
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Big Brother US has been criticised over racial microaggressions targeted at contestant Taylor Hale.

The personal stylist is taking part in the current 24th season of the reality show, though a number of former contestants have spoken out against her treatment on the show.

Comments highlighted have included calling Hale "aggressive", assuming she will have temper tantrums, and contestants declaring that they didn't like her from the get-go, while she has also been seen to be crying alone on the live feeds.

Photo credit: CBS
Photo credit: CBS

Head of household Daniel Durston and Paloma Aguilar were at one point seen talking about nominations, Durston suggesting that having "two Black people on the block at the end of my week" would not look good for him.

"We need to put that aside, and America needs to put that aside," Aguilar said. When Durston suggested viewers may not watch the live feed, Aguilar replied: "It can be explained afterwards. We need to play this game."

Among those that have criticised the show are members of last season's 'Cookout Alliance', an all-Black alliance that made the final six.

Xavier Prather, who won last season, said on Twitter: "Members of the black community (especially black women) and other people of color stand no chance in the Big Brother House due to perpetuation of micro-aggressions and unconscious biases which plague our society.

"I acknowledge my shortcomings during my time on Big Brother and can't help but feel partially responsible for some of the reprehensible behavior I see being exhibited by current houseguests who consider me one of their 'favorites'.

"For that, I'd like to apologize for being an accessory to any ongoing issues. I've tried to learn from my conduct and educate myself so that I can stand beside those who need my support, as I attempt to do for Taylor now.

"In the future, I hope it doesn't take a 'Cookout' for any black houseguests (or any POC houseguest) to finally escape the feeling of being ostracized within the Big Brother House for simply existing. Change is a MUST!".

Fellow star Azäh Awasum added: "I see questions on my timeline showing some confusion over what Taylor is experiencing. Giving the definition of colorism for context. Colorism:prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

"I made a cognizant effort to 'dial back' in the house for these exact reasons. Dark skinned women always have this in the back of our heads. CBS teaches about racial microaggressions but a section on colorism would be beneficial. Taylor's light will shine outside this house."

According to Variety, the show has had talks with the cast about microaggressions and they have had sensitivity training. A show casting producer also called the situation "really disappointing", and that half of the casting team are BIPOC.

This isn't the first time the show has been at the centre of a race row, with series in 2018 and 2013 both seeing the use of offensive language.

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