Big Brother 8′s ratings reach season high, as does contestants’ live feed bigotry

Ratings for Big Brother 8 increased to their highest level this summer on Sunday, perhaps due to the increased drama in the game, or perhaps due to the increased attention on the houseguests’ bigotry.

CBS said in a press release that Sunday’s episode “averaged 8.17 million viewers, the best delivery in viewers for the series on any night this summer.” Last Thursday, “among viewers 18-49, [the show was] up 15.4 percent versus” last week, which made it “the No. 1 show for the night in the demo,” Media Life reports.

To help keep track of the crap that spews out of the houseguests’ mouths, a MySpace blogger created a graphic that maps “everyone’s prejudices.” Why? “For the record, I hate ignorant, stroke-faced cud-chewers. Named Amber,” the blogger writes.

Unsurprisingly, Dick is at the center, where most of the biases overlap, showing that he demonstrates bias against blacks, Christians, Asians, women, and gays–all groups except athiests, Jews, and brunettes. And while the chart is depressingly accurate, there’s some humor. Jen is biased against only one group: “people who are not talking about Jen.”

Lest we think that the bigotry in the house is overstated, After Elton gathered additional, recent examples. Most of involve Dick, who “has spent the past few weeks verbally harassing Jen with threats of rape, insults focused on her sexuality and hopes for her death. … This weekend he added homophobia to his repertoire. While trying to prevent Dustin from sleeping, he says that “…all the gay guys in West Hollywood used to go around and say ‘I’m clean, I don’t have HIV’ when they weren’t,” and makes sexually charged insults. He also takes on a yellowface accent.”

After Elton’s Lyle Masaki argues that “[b]y continuing to portray someone who’s making increasingly blatant displays of homophobia, racism and misogyny as a good guy, I can’t help but feel like CBS is excusing his behavior — they’re telling us that in the end, it doesn’t matter that he spews all kinds of hateful, threatening speech because he loves his daughter and adds drama to the Big Brother house.” In addition, CBS’ refusal to broadcast such comments is hypocritical, the site argues, because the live feeds and Showtime Too version are “both being packaged as entertainment and sold to the public.”

CBS’S “Big Brother 8″ Sunday Edition Continues Ratings Momentum Hitting its Best Viewer Delivery on Any Night for the Second Consecutive Week [CBS press release]
A steady build for CBS’s ‘Big Brother’ [Media Life]
Better Know a BB8 Bias [MySpace via Defamer]
Big Brother: Excusing bad behavior? [After Elton]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.