Behind Big BrotherBehind Big Brother

Housemates

They just don’t get it

1 May 2007

Posted by Will

Update 3/5: I take it all back ;)


Today the producers decided to cancel a task. It involved the housemates randomly dividing up into male/female pairs, with each pair then being given custody of a fake baby that they had to take care of as if it were real. However, within a couple of hours of the HMs being given their task it was mysteriously cancelled. Live streaming was cut for some time and all references to the task (including forum discussion) on the OS were deleted.

When the feeds returned Kate was in tears, being consoled by the other HMs. The explanation that many of our forum users have agreed upon is that she once suffered a miscarriage or some other kind of severe pregnancy-related trauma, and so in the interests of her emotional wellbeing the task was called off.

I don’t have a problem with this – cancelling the task was clearly the right step. What I have an issue with is the cover-up they have immediately instigated. Why? Instead of acting like it never existed, why can’t they just explain to the public what the issue was? One of BB’s favourite nomination lines is “Be honest, what are you saying?” Well, perhaps BB could practice what he preaches and just tell us what happened.

I am a firm believer in the concept that you should treat the audience like it is an intelligent creature. That’s how you gain the viewer’s respect. Much of the criticism and cynicism seen on this very site comes from the fact that people simply don’t respect the BB producers. In this enlightened day and age the audience is very much aware of the workings of the TV industry. Even if BB’s target audience is the stereotypical teen girl who never sees anything wrong with the show, we all know that there are a large number of mature viewers who can’t be fooled as easily. Those are the ones that the producers need to show respect to if they have any hope of receiving it in return. Simply pressing the ‘delete’ button whenever something goes wrong is not the way to do this.

What I find most fascinating is that is was only 24 hours ago that the exact opposite thing was happening. Yesterday, the remaining white room housemates decided they would quit as a group by all pressing the red button at the same time. BB immediately intervened, and basically told them that they would be leaving within two days. But not only was this NOT covered, up, the OS actually wrote a news item about it! Perhaps they’ll eventually do the same for what has happened today, but as I write this it doesn’t look too likely.

I’m disappointed with this old-media cover up approach BB has adopted with today’s events. They had a chance to explain to viewers what happened and why the task was cancelled, but instead decided to edit history and pretend nothing happened.

Discuss the cancelled baby task in our forums here.