'Big Brother' Producers Address Racism, Bullying Concerns

Following accusations of racism and bullying concerns, Big Brother producers have spoken out and are addressing the matter. The allegations from fans surfaced last week after David Alexander, Ovi Kabir, and Kemi Fakunle — all people of color — were eliminated from the house. Fans took note and quickly began calling the show out on social media.

Now, the show's producers have issued a statement, saying, "BIG BROTHER is a multi-platform reality competition show about a group of people who live in a house for several months with no contact from the outside world.

"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. At times, the Houseguests say things that we do not condone," the statement published by PEOPLE continued. "We share some of the viewers' concerns about inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, and producers have addressed specific incidents with the Houseguests involved. 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."

After the shocking elimination, many viewers also noted that the three booted contestants had been treated very poorly by some of the other houseguests.

"Racism runs so deep that racially insensitive jokes become second nature to people like Jack. Teach your children better," one person tweeted.

As far as the contestants themselves, Fakunle told EW that she did not feel welcome in the house.

"It's definitely disappointing. There was definitely an in-group vs. out-group feeling in the house and I mean, I really don't know. I don't want to say something without being certain about it, but we definitely felt a presence in the house that we weren't a part of," he said.

After returning home, she issued a statement through Twitter that read, "I am extremely disappointed and disgusted by the behavior I am being made aware of that occurred thus far in the Big Brother house."

"The degrading and threatening comments made by some houseguests and laughed at by others are outrageous and hard to see. I am saddened to be associated with such a negative display of human character and am horrified that this is now a part of my life story," she added.

"It's unfortunate how this season has transpired thus far and while I do appreciate the support, I do ask that the negative comments that have been made in my defense stop. I do not want to perpetuate the same negativity that I received in the house," Fakunle concluded her statement.


Big Brother airs three days a week — Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays — on CBS.