The head of CBS says he finds the behavior of some of this summer’s “Big Brother” contestants “appalling,” but he thinks the network has handled it appropriately.
“It was established as a social experiment; clearly that’s what’s happening this year,” CBS CEO Les Moonves told reporters Monday (July 29) at the TCA summer press tour. “I find some of the behavior absolutely appalling personally. What you see there I think is unfortunately reflective of how certain people feel in America. It’s what our show is.”
Discussion of “Big Brother” this year has been driven largely by repeated racist comments made by some contestants, notably Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman. Other contestants have made homophobic and misogynist comments as well.
Moonves says he watches every episode of “Big Brother,” joking that “my wife” — host Julie Chen — “would kill me if I didn’t.” He says he thinks CBS has handled things fairly well in terms of showing the contestants’ behavior and warning audiences about troublesome content.
“We did not comment on some of the racial things being said until it really affected what was going on in the household,” he says. “There was a lot of chatter about it on the Internet as well, and I think we handled it the way we should have.”
In response to a question about whether he and Chen discuss what’s happening in in the “Big Brother” house, Moonves quips, “I”m not going to tell you what goes on in my home.”
What do you think? Has CBS handled the bigotry in the “Big Brother” house well this summer?