The Big Brother Secret Producers Don’t Want You To Know

“Big Brother” first premiered on CBS in 2000 (via IMDb) before spawning spin-offs like “Big Brother: Over the Top” and “Celebrity Big Brother”. Viewers have continued to be enamored by the reality show’s format, which includes filming its contestants 24/7. The contestants, or Houseguests, live together in a specially constructed house and compete against each other to win the affection of the public for the grand prize of $500,000. 

The voyeuristic nature of the series has sparked controversy, mainly due to the show’s “live feeds” which make contestants available to the public at any given time (with a subscription, of course). But primary critique of the series has been due to bullying, harassment, sub-par casting screenings (via Entertainment Weekly) and the mental strain producers place on contestants. Season 22’s Nicole Franzel has said her experience on the show was “a lot to take in” (via Parade). In 2020, “Big Brother” alum Kaysar Ridha took to Twitter, calling out the series for allowing the mistreatment of fellow contestant Ian Terry, who is on the autism spectrum. Ridha’s pleas for contestants to find empathy for the “neurodiverse” were met with agreement by past contestants and anger at producers for condoning the bullying in the first place (via Newsweek).

Contestants are never shy about calling out the series for mistreatment, but thanks to Reddit, we’ve also been granted a peek from the crew’s perspective. 

The Big Brother house isn't a house

An anonymous Reddit user alleging to be a film carpenter on the series described how he built the “Big Brother” set. “The ‘house’ is actually inside of a huge warehouse,” user Pundemic_crisis wrote, revealing to fans that the house is really constructed on a CBS sound stage in Los Angeles. But the user’s most shocking reveal was the producers’ method of transporting contestants! “I found it kinda creepy that when they lead a contestant to the games room, they put a black bag over their head and you’re not allowed to talk to them … also the camera alleys mean that anyone working on the show can just wander behind the walls and watch the contestants in any room. I will never understand why people apply to be on that show. It looks stressful af!” (via Reddit)

The series’ camera alleys and two-way mirrors are used to catch and record the contestants from every angle, but the fact that these viewing points are receiving little to no security is unsettling. Sure, these contestants have signed away their right to privacy, but shouldn’t the alleys at least require a badge to cut down on Peeping Toms? Hopefully next season of “Big Brother” will include implementing stronger measures to protect the safety of its contestants. 

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