“Big Brother” now comes with a racism warning
Warning: Side effects of watching CBS's Sunday night lineup may include disgust, outrage and despair for America.
On Saturday evening, a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin. It was unfortunate timing for CBS, the broadcasting system which, believe it not, once had a lineup so prestigious it was known as "the Tiffany network." In contrast, its greatest claim to fame lately has been its status as an open-air zoo for bigots. Earlier this month, keen-eyed reality watchers began noting that the live feed for the 15th season of "Big Brother" revealed a truly impressive degree of casual racism from the housemates – as well as sexism and homophobia. The show has basically become the Truman Show recast as a skank-athon. And as the news of the contestants' remarks filtered out, the network struggled with how to best handle the revelations – the first two episodes of the season gave no indication of the backward worldviews of some of the houseguests. But in wake of a growing amount of attention and pressure to show the whole story, CBS then issued a statement that "we do not condone" the "offensive" views and began showing a fuller picture. The result was the biggest ratings of the season.