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Big Brother digitally erases Jeff, and his “casual misogyny”

Big Brother digitally erases Jeff, and his “casual misogyny”
Big Brother 17's Jeff Weldon. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS)

Big Brother has once again digitally erased a person from a scene, in order to suggest that the events of that scene came after a person’s eviction. In this case, it was former The Amazing Race cast member Jeff Weldon, whose “casual misogyny,” as one viewer described it, was also erased from the show.

Hamsterwatch, who has seen more of this cast and others than I ever will, described Jeff like this:

“…we’ve never had such a misogynistic, inappropriate, and unfunny pig before. CBS let him get away clean and that’s what it is — I’m just glad to see the back of him.”

In the incident that got the most attention, Jeff appeared to masturbate or pretend to masturbate and wipe semen on Julia, Liz’s twin, when they were in bed together. In live feed footage, Jeff was moving his hand under the comforter they’re sharing. He then moves his hand, wipes it on Julia’s shirt, and says, “You have a little stain right here.” He adds, “It actually feels kinda sticky. I know what that could be. It’s not going to come off.”

Asked about it in an exit interview, Jeff said, “I was repulsed by even the idea of it. I’m not that guy. That would not occur ever in my world.”

The things Jeff said on Big Brother

But a lot more verifiable things did occur in his world, ones that did not get the attention of tabloids or the show’s editors. For example:

  • Jeff told Steve “to call James “Mr. Miyagi,” as in the character from The Karate Kid. (James is of Korean descent; Mr. Miyagi is of Japanese descent.)
  • Jeff ranted and said repeatedly it was “disgusting” that Meg dated someone who was 38 when she was 24.
  • When Jeff was told by another houseguest that Liz and Julia were secretly switching places, his reaction was, “Which one should I go for?”
  • Referring to the twins, he asked, “What girl gets in a little skanky bathing suit, but then wants to cover like her whole stomach?”
  • Jeff said, “Becky is a gold digger. You’re not that hot. You’re a Monday night at best.”
  • He had this conversation. Jeff: “Are you against strap-ons?” Austin: “No.” Jeff: “You would let someone totally dominate you like that?”
  • Talking about Liz, who was going to play pool with him, he said, “she knows who her daddy is.”
  • He expressed a desire for Liz to make it to the jury stage for his sexual gratification. He said to Liz: “We won’t drill you too hard.” Austin said: “Not till jury.” Jeff added: “Yeah, not until jury.”
  • Jeff said, “spitters are quitters.”
  • Jeff said his defining Amazing Race moment was making fun of his partner, Jackie.

That’s a clear pattern of him constantly treating and referring to women in the house like objects. He said so many sexist, misogynistic, and obnoxious things there was even a hashtag for them: #STFUJeff.

Julie Chen described all this as “his attraction to Liz,” and her exit interview and the show framed it as a love triangle, which all a really gross way of summarizing the things Jeff said.

Jeff is erased from a scene

With the exception of Jeff asking which twin he should “go for,” none of this behavior was enough to make it to television. Consider how someone spent time digitally removing Jeff from Sunday night’s scene featuring several cast members performing a musical number. (His leg is still visible under the maroon blanket, and in a different shot on the show, you could see him sitting there, though not his face.)

There was time in the episode to include that scene, and time in post-production to digitally remove Jeff, yet there wasn’t time to show the kinds of things he repeatedly said in the house?

By the way: This isn’t the first time the show has removed someone; it’s apparently done because they’ve wanted to include a group scene after an eviction. Even though the scene is inconsequential, I still find that to be ethically questionable—and it also treats the audience like dummies, as if we couldn’t understand why Jeff was suddenly back. I also wonder how many other shows do this; Big Brother is the only one that offers access to the raw footage.

On TV, Big Brother 17 has, so far, been a failure

On television, episodes have not focused on the drama and game play that’s occurring on the live feeds. Instead, we get things like extended “Who wants to see my HOH room?” segments; Steve attempting to fold the ironing board; and unbearable Diary Room shout-fests with John.

Meanwhile, Big Brother 17 has bailed on BB Takeover, with weekly takeover guests and twists turning into theme weeks without explanation. (I actually wasn’t thrilled with the idea of nonstop twists, but I also don’t understand changing it so early without acknowledging that.)

Also, while the challenges are clever, The Battle of the Block isn’t working, a challenge that’s thrown more often than it’s played. It usually just delays the inevitable back-dooring—which is frustrating enough by itself.

Worse of all, what ends up on television is dreadfully boring. It’s rather inexplicable, but at least it offers an easy way to save three hours a week.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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