Forcing The Message

With everyone all excited and giddy about the return of Big Brother tonight, I noticed something about how houseguest Audrey Middleton is being promoted that quite frankly irks me.

As the Big Brother Gossip podcast pointed out (and they should get full credit for this point they made, not me for expounding on it), Audrey gave interviews before entering the house that she would not tell others, at least right away, that she is transgendered. However, Julie Chen made it clear last week on The Talk that Audrey would mention this the very first night of the show, so we should see this play out on tonight’s episode.

If Audrey does indeed announced that she was once a man, will it be her doing, or is this something CBS forced her to do? A unique moment of ethics, standards, and practices is at play here.

If the latter scenario is the case, it is somewhat understandable that the show doesn’t want a real-life version of “The Crying Game” playing out on a public stage. However, this creates another problem: any houseguest who has played Big Brother since the show began back in 2000 has been free to share, not share, or lie about their background as they wish. If Audrey is being manipulated by the show to reveal her gender change (and such manipulation is probably allowed in their contracts, keep in mind), then the show sets a precedent where information that may aid or harm the other contestants can be revealed.

Further, it wouldn’t be a stretch that Audrey, in exchange for revealing this information, might get a quid pro quo arrangement to go farther along in the game at the very least. Might she catch the same breaks Elissa did in BB15, or Frankie did last year?

All and all, this rubs me the wrong way. It smells of the network being discriminatory and manipulative to keep fellow contestants from being just as discriminatory.

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