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CBS keen to distance itself from comments made by its 'Houseguests'
Housemates have sparked outrage several times over the past week for racist comments
Published: 06:43 BST, 15 July 2013 | Updated: 09:48 BST, 15 July 2013>
CBS has responded to the growing controversy over racist and homophobic statements made by several 'Big Brother' contestants that were captured on the reality show's live Internet feed.
Every program now comes with a written warning from the network.
CBS had already distanced itself by making a statement about the prejudicial views being expressed by certain Big Brother Houseguests in its webcast by issuing a statement, but now on its main highlights program an advisory was shown on last nights episode.
Disclaimer: CBS Big Brother 15 placed a warning before the show for the first time in its history
'Big Brother' is a reality show about group of people who have no privacy 24/7.
At times, the Houseguests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that CBS does not condone.
We certainly find the statements made by several of the Houseguests on the live Internet feed to be offensive.
Views or opinions expressed by a Houseguest either on any live feed from the House or during the broadcast, are those of the individuals speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program.
Viewer discretion is advised.'
Over the years, TV viewers have long become used to seeing content disclaimers for violence, profanity and nudity, but Big Brother had never had such a warning for racial prejudice.
The 15th season of Big Brother has shown more than one houseguest making racist comments to other contestants on the show.
Some have criticized the program for including such content, yet the show’s viewership has climbed in the wake of the controversy.
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'Watchu gon do gurl?' Aaryn said in an attempt to rile an African American housemate
There was outrage over the racist comments uttered on Big Brother last week.
After Thursday's eviction episode, Aaryn Gries targeted fellow housemate Candice Stewart by flipping over her mattress.
After warning her not to flip her mattress again, Gries responded back in a 'black' accent mocking the African-American Stewart.
'Whatchu gon' do gurl...whatchu gon' do? Class girl. Where's yo class?' Aaryn mocked.
And not to be outdone by her friend, GinaMarie Zimmerman piped in with more racism.
As Candice was getting worked up, GinaMarie confronted her saying: 'You want the black to come out?'
Earlier in the month, the 'Big Brother' live feeds captured Season 15 contestants Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman making racist and homophobic comments about their competitors.
'Dude, shut up, go make some rice,' Aaryn said about Helen, an Asian-American contestant.
Later, GinaMarie added, 'Andy was like, 'I'm gonna punch her in the face,' and I was like, 'Maybe that'll make her eyes straight.''
Speaking about Howard and Candice, two African-American contestants, the duo said: 'Blacks stick together ... They're like tokens ... They're like black Barbie and Kens.'
The duo also said Howard and Candice's 'blackness' was starting to come out.
Since the comments were made, it has been revealed that Aaryn Gries has been dropped by her Austin, Texas-based modeling agency Zephyr Talent.
Shortly after the incident, the live feeds captured 'Big Brother' producers making an announcement on the house PA system warning contestants not to use racial slurs against other housemates.
'You want the black to come out?' GinaMarie, left, threatened Candice, right
Former 'Big Brother' contestant Ragan Fox has written an open letter to CBS calling on the network to air the racist statements on the show's CBS broadcast, to give viewers an accurate representation of their character.
'Houseguests GinaMarie, Aaryn, and Kaitlin referred to historically marginalized players as ‘tokens,’' Fox wrote. 'Sadly, they aren’t too far off in their assessment. Characters like Andy (Herren), Candice, Howard (Overby), and Helen are reduced to mere tokens when production fails to include micro-aggressions that they have to endure on a day-to-day basis.
What’s the point of casting racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities if production’s going to edit out the racism, ethnic discrimination, and homophobia that these people encounter inside the house?'
Race war: Candice had to be physically removed from the room by housemate Howard Overby
Housemate Howard Overby - who is also black - had to physically remove Candice from the room to stop the fight from escalating.
Both GinaMarie and Aaryn drew criticism earlier this week when CBS aired some of their racist comments originally seen only by subscribers on the internet-only live feed.
After contestant Howard Overby told his fellow housemates’ of the ladies remarks, calling them comments that ‘you can’t apologize for,’ the network went to the videotape.
Awful: A contestant can be heard off-camera mocking an Asian housemate
Gries is shown mocking Asian house guest Helen, saying ‘shutup, go make some rice,’ while mocking nail salon workers.
Zimmerman then chimed in ‘Andy was like, 'I'm gonna punch her in the face,' and I was like, ''Maybe that'll make her eyes straight.’
Soon after, the dynamic duo moved on to deriding African-Americans.
Digging the hole deeper, Zimmerman said fellow contestant Candice Stewart ‘is on the dark side, but she's already dark,’ with Gries adding ‘be careful what you say in the dark because you might not be able to see the b----.’
Hateful: Another housemate can he heard joining in on the racism, the remarks were aired Sunday night by CBS
Fired: Aaryn Gries and GInamarie Zimmerman were fired after their employers became aware of their hateful comments on the show
Not to be outdone, Gries then called gay housemate Andy Herren a ‘queer.’
‘Dude, that’s rude!’ said a fellow contest seeing the slurs for the first time.
'Even when these comments are made in fun, they still hurt and are disrespectful, especially when that person isn't there to hear it and back themselves up,’ the African-American Overby told the cameras. ‘It could privvy me to losing my temper, but that's a no-no. I have to keep my eyes down the field for the bigger prize.
Though not aired on Sunday night, Spencer Clawson was also heard slamming gays and praising Adolf Hitler.
'[Gries] makes comments that are completely inappropriate, where she makes fun of other people for what they look like and their ethnicity, and I think that's going to hurt her -- a lot -- in the game and outside the game,' contestant Amanda Zuckerman opined.
Terrible: Spencer Clawson's praise of Hitler and homophobic slurs may have cost him his job with railroad operator Union Pacific
Fallout from the ranting was swift.
Gries, a 22-year-old student and sometimes model, was dropped from her talent agency.
'We certainly find the statements made by Aaryn on the live Internet feed to be offensive,’ Zephyr Talent said in a statement on its Facebook page, adding that ‘upon much consideration, we have decided to release Aaryn from her contract…’
Zimmerman, a pageant director for East Coast USA Pageant, was also fired.
'We are actually thankful that this show let us see GinaMarie for who she truly is,’ a spokesperson said, ‘we would never want her to be a role model to our future contestants.'
Currently on unpaid leave from Union Pacific while participating in the show, Clawson has also found himself in hot water.
‘The values represented by Spencer Clawson's comments during the 'Big Brother' show do not at all align with Union Pacific's values,’ said a statement on the railroad operator's site. ‘Union Pacific does not condone his comments. Union Pacific is acting in accordance with Collective Bargaining Agreement terms regarding Mr. Clawson.'
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Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2363896/Big-Brother-2013-CBS-adds-disclaimer-note-start-wake-race-row-controversy.html