Kemi Fakunle, a black houseguest on the series “Big Brother,” said a producer tried to get her to speak in a stereotypical manner, and that person has since been admonished.
Reportedly, the producer’s name is Christine Owen, and Fakunle, who’s since been evicted from the house, told her fellow cast mates what she said.
“I think I’m portrayed as a bitch. 100 percent,” she stated on Twitter last month, They were like, ‘Oh, why don’t you, like, wag your finger and be like, ‘Uh uh, girlfriend.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t even talk like that, so maybe try again, Christine.’ And she was like, ‘Oh, I mean, I just thought that was an option.’ I literally don’t talk like that, so, like, what are you trying to do?”
Three people of color have already been evicted from the “Big Brother” house, and house guest Jack Matthew was accused of using the N-word, which CBS said they investigated but didn’t find proof of. He was also accused of only wanting to evict people of color.
So because of those things, as well as the backlash that followed, a rep for “Big Brother” issued a statement.
“The audience is able to view the show during the multiple weekly broadcasts as well as on the 24/7 live, online stream, which captures unedited content of the contestants’ unfiltered moments in the house,” the statement read. “At times, the houseguests say things that we do not condone.”
“We share some of the viewers’ concerns about inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, and producers have addressed specific incidents with the houseguests involved,” it continued. “However, there is absolutely no truth that the casting of the show is racially motivated, that the Houseguests’ behavior is predetermined or that the outcome is controlled in any way.”
In a new interview with O, The Oprah Magazine, Fakunle was asked about her treatment in the house, and if she thought racism was a big factor.
“I definitely feel that there was an unwillingness to accept cultures that were different from yours, and it was highlighted through race,” she explained. “When you think of racism a lot of people think of how it was maybe 50 years ago.”
“Today, racism doesn’t look like what it did back in the day because you do have social media, live feeds, people trying to be a little bit more politically correct for the sake of the appearance of themselves. But from my experience, a lot of these times racism these days is expressed through microaggressions.”
With regard to the “Big Brother” producer Owen, CBS programming executive Thom Sherman said she “overstepped” when trying to get Fakunle to speak in a stereotypical manner. She also had to attend “unconscious bias training.”