Julie Chen’s Big Brother strategy is to “[play] her role as straight as possible”

After seven seasons, we finally have an explanation for why Julie Chen is so utterly wooden and devoid of personality, behavior that lead TVgasm’s founders to name her “the Chenbot”.

“Chen says she has played her role as straight as possible, displaying no emotion, for example, toward eliminated contestants she might personally dislike,” USA TODAY reports. In other words, it was a specific strategy.

Julie also tries to connect her job to actual journalism, which makes no sense on multiple levels. “When I was in journalism school, you were taught to be completely objective. But we don’t see that anymore,” she said. But if her point is that objectivity no longer exists, what’s the point of showing no emotion?

The paper also says that “the criticism [of Julie] has all but evaporated.” But that’s not quite accurate. The fact is, she’s still terrible. Just last season she screwed up a challenge even though every viewer at home could clearly see on their screens what really happened. The point is that her utter awfulness is now part of the show’s appeal.

By the way, Julie also discusses her marriage to CBS president Les Moonves, which of course has nothing to do with her continued employment despite her incompetence. “In the beginning, it was awkward. A few people who used to be friends (on Early) started to roll their eyes when I walked past them,” she said.

‘Big Brother’ has her under a watchful eye [USA TODAY]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.