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JUL
14
9 MOS

'Big Brother 15': CBS Airs Disclaimer in Wake of Racial Slurs

The network addresses the houseguests' controversial comments with an on-air statement prior to the episode.

Big Brother Live Feeds Disclaimer - H 2013
CBS.com's "Big Brother" live feeds

CBS took it one step further on Big Brother in the wake of the controversial racial, homophobic and misogynistic slurs said by numerous houseguests this season.

Before the July 14 episode began, the network displayed a disclaimer telling viewers of the summer reality staple that the houseguests' statements are that of the individual and not representative of CBS as a whole. This is the first time that CBS has aired a disclaimer on Big Brother.

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"Big Brother is a reality show about a group of people who have no privacy 24/7. At times, the houseguests may reveal prejudices and other beliefs that CBS does not condone. Views or opinions expressed by a houseguest are those of the individuals speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS. Viewer discretion is advised," read the on-air disclaimer.

Following the July 11 eviction episode, subscribers to the live feeds were presented with a pop-up window with the same message.

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Houseguest Aaryn Gries has been the focal point on the CBS broadcast due to her offensive, racially-charged remarks, and the July 14 episode continued the storyline with significant airtime devoted to the matter. In the broadcast, Gries was seen flipping the bed that Candice Stewart shared with Howard Overby, who are both black, and when confronted by Stewart about her actions Gries retaliated with what Stewart called "ghetto talk." (Gries later spoke to Stewart about her malicious comments, but Stewart did not buy the apology.) Amanda Zuckerman, who had been seen talking to Gries in a previous episode, confronted Gries again about her comments, saying that she was being portrayed as being "racist" and outside of the house "you will have a lot of people f---ing hating you."

The developments come as Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman have been at the center of this season's Big Brother controversy, which has caused Gries to be dropped by her modeling agency and Zimmerman to be fired by her pageant company. A third houseguest, railroad conductor Spencer Clawson, has been criticized by his employer for his comments.

CBS released a statement in early July distancing itself from the Big Brother houseguests' statements and host Julie Chen said Gries' statements "stung."

Big Brother next airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
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