Op-Ed: Calling out racial issues in the Big Brother house

Hector Morales, Reporter

Big Brother is known for backstabbing, drama, and fights that occur in the game. But because of all the racial tensions that spiraled through the nation in early May because of the death of George Floyd that ignited the BLM movement, fans were able to pick out any remarks that could be racially motivated.
Earlier this year, CBS announced their second All-Stars season of Big Brother. But this 22nd season included past houseguests competing for the half-million-dollar prize. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many beloved houseguests weren’t able to participate this season. Some of the houseguests who moved into the house were: Janelle Pierzina (Big Brother 6,7,14,), Ian Terry (Winner of Big Brother 14), Nicole Franzel (Big Brother 16 & Winner of Big Brother 18), Davonne Rogers (Big Brother 17 & 18) and many other All-Stars.
After Pierzina’s eviction in week three of the game, she gifted Bayleigh Dayton, an African American houseguest, one of her dresses. Daniele Donato, another houseguest, then accused Dayton of just “taking” Pierzina’s clothing without any proof.
After Dayton’s eviction, she went onto former houseguests, Kat Dunn (Big Brother 21), podcast, Conspire Away B*tches, and talked about microaggressions coming from the white houseguests. Dayton stated in her interview “…You need to check your privilege, you need to educate yourself, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. And then you also don’t need to be offended when somebody calls you out for it.” Dayton went on to say “If you don’t want to be considered racist, you need to check your behaviors at the door because they are no longer acceptable in our society.”
Viewers even have pointed out that Memphis Garrett (Big Brother 10&22) used a racial slur that is very offensive towards the Black community. Fans were outraged and wanted CBS to expel the houseguest from the house. Unfortunately, CBS issued a statement saying: “We are aware of press reports about Big Brother fans on social media accusing a houseguest of whispering an offensive racial slur during the show’s 24/7 live feed, The producers have listened to the scene using enhanced audio. Additionally, the Network’s program practices team isolated and played back the scene several different ways using professional, studio-grade audio equipment.”
Fans are still not convinced that Garret did not use the racial and even went to make a petition for CBS to expel Garrett from the house. The petition now has 1,534 signatures at the time of this report.
I have been following this season since the premiere date and after the first three weeks, I had to stop watching. I noticed all of the microaggressions, mostly from the white houseguests, and I would have to agree with Bayleigh Dayton on her statement: “If you don’t want to be considered racist, you need to check your behaviors at the door because they are no longer acceptable in our society”. She is right, the past few seasons of Big Brother have shown how certain houseguests feel about minorities. CBS needs to do better to make sure that these microaggressions do not happen in the house and casting directors need more diverse casts and will not cast future houseguests that use microaggressions.