Social media is not letting TV personalities get away with bullying.

In the past, ‘Big Brother’ has faced criticism for bullying and racist behavior by cast members; however, this season’s episodes include moments where houseguests discuss racial injustice and other social issues to portray the ‘Big Brother’ house as a welcoming and inclusive environment. 

However, production has failed to show the bullying that has taken place this year.

‘Big Brother’ is a reality show competition where 16 people live in a house together for a couple of months to compete for a half a million dollars through physical and mental competitions. Each week, one housemate is voted off the show by their peers, and the last person left in the house wins the cash prize. Currently, the show features an all-star cast of returning players from previous seasons.

The houseguests are under 24 hour surveillance through live feeds that anyone with a CBS All Access subscription can view at any time, but fans were outraged by what they saw this past Wednesday.

Background

Ian Terry is considered a legend in the ‘Big Brother’ world, as he won the 14th season of the show – beating one of the best players of all time, former winner Dan Gheesling. Terry is known for his intelligence as he is a strategic and analytical player. 

As Terry returned for his second season of ‘Big Brother,’ he decided to be more open with the houseguests and public about living on the spectrum. During a casual conversation with a few houseguests, Terry explained how previous viewers and houseguests expressed their annoyance with his rocking movements that helped soothe him. With many of the current houseguests in shock that he has autism, Terry clarified that living on the spectrum does not define him as he lives a normal life with a great job, family, and girlfriend. 

 

On national television, his fellow houseguests seem to be accepting of him, but from what viewers saw on Wednesday, that does not seem to be the case.

What Happened?

On a video from the live feeds, Memphis Garrett, Dani Briones, Nicole Franzel, Christmas Abott, and Cody Calafiore are seen mocking and laughing about Terry’s condition. The video starts off by Briones calling Terry a “roach,” and Garrett then refers to Terry as “a totally different human being.” Although Franzel interjects and says that Terry is now “confident,” Garrett claims that his confidence is “creepy.” As a bad joke, Briones tells Memphis that she will tell Terry to sit at the end of Garrett’s bed to scare him, and Garrett says if he does that he will “kick him in his teeth” and will excuse it as an “accident” as he will say he thought Terry was a ghost from ‘The Shining.’  

 

The bullying does not end there. Garrett goes on to imitate how Terry walks and talks, and says that he acts “weird.” Garrett, Briones, and Calafiore go on to discuss how they often do not understand Terry when he talks as he constantly uses big words and discusses random facts.

 

On a different occasion, Garrett mocks Terry’s rocking movements to Briones, Franzel, and Abott as he says that Terry stresses him out as he has “nightmares” of Terry’s rocking. When Garrett leaves, Briones says she agrees with Garrett and that Franzel is laughing because she does too. Abott also chimes in.

 

Later, Briones confides in Franzel furthering her agreement with Garrett as she says Terry’s constant rocking “stresses her out” and Franzel agrees.

 

While these conversations are happening, Terry’s close friend and former ‘Big Brother’ winner, Nicole Franzel, is laughing and agreeing with what has been said, instead of protecting her good friend. It is not a secret that Terry and Franzel are friends outside of the house as they directly said it on national television and made a pact to take each other to the final two – though Franzel also has a final two deal with Cody Calafiore. 

Fans’ Response

These videos from the live feeds have outraged fans, and they are calling out the houseguests involved.

 

Former Cast Members’ Response

Not only are fans angry with this situation, but also former houseguests – including current cast members already evicted – are speaking up. 

Janelle Pierzina and Kaysar Ridha are known as a power duo in multiple seasons of ‘Big Brother,’ but were both evicted early from this season as many saw them as a threat. At home, Pierzina and Ridha were outraged with the houseguests’ behavior towards Terry as they were close to him in the house. Riddha even helped Terry’s game by exposing people before he left.

 

Pierzina and Ridha took to Twitter to express their anger over the cast’s treatment of Terry.

 

Also, Ridha and his fellow housemate Nicole Anthony went on Instagram Live to discuss the houseguests’ insensitivity toward Terry.

 

Not only are players from this season voicing their frustration, but also are former houseguests from previous seasons including Kat Dunn, Ovi Kabir, and former winner Andy Herren.

 

Consequences

The houseguests may be isolated from the outside world, but they are receiving some serious consequences. Because of her participation in this situation, Franzel has lost multiple sponsorships including from Olay, Winery Chateau Ste. Michelle, and BlanQuil.

 

After losing these sponsorships and the mass amounts of tweets from fans, people seem to think that production had a conversation with Franzel because last night on the live feeds she is seen apologizing to Terry for being insensitive.

 

Many ‘Big Brother’ viewers may be unaware of what has been going on as CBS failed to show the houseguests’ inappropriate behavior on Thursday night’s episode allowing many to still idolize these players. Only those who are active on social media or the live feeds have seen these cast members’ true colors.

What are your thoughts on the situation? What do you think production should do to condemn bullying on the show?