Big Brother Stereotypes

I watched episode 40 of season 18 of Big Brother. This was my first time watching the show, but I have heard discussions of it that led me to believe it would be drama filled which I thought could be interesting for this intersectional analysis.

I picked a random episode from the most recent season, mainly because the thumbnail for it made it appear to be an extra dramatic episode and that was correct. There was quite a big fight that occurred in this episode within the jury house, which is where the contestants who have been evicted from the Big Brother house go. The fight was between a white man and a black woman and the way it was handled seemed problematic. The black woman was provoked by the white man for the most part and they started to get up in each other’s faces arguing, it escalated extremely quickly and I think the way it was framed made it appear as though the black woman was at fault.

She was the one who was being pulled away from him by the film crew, as if she was the one who started it, but in reality she started to get the most provoked when the man decided to bring her child into the argument, saying she was being a bad example for her child, which is totally out of line. Both of them were taking shots at one another’s femininity and masculinity in their argument trying to tear down each other’s identity. The woman was telling the man that no one was scared of him and he tried defending himself saying that the guys were afraid of him and things along those lines. I think this part of the episode really showed a way that identities can be manipulated by reality television and how someone can be pushed to a point of going out of character to a point that they are not proud of and that does not represent who they truly are.

Also, though it wasn’t necessarily done on purpose, the way that the jury house and the Big Brother house were separated reminded me a little bit of the Survivor episode we watched for class. The separation was not by race, but (prior to the end of the episode when another guy is evicted) the jury house is made up of all women except for one man and the Big Brother house is made up of all men except for one woman. It was interesting to see how different the vibes of each environment were because of this, but it did seem to play up some stereotypes surrounding gender which is problematic.

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