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CBS bosses grilled on racial issues on Big Brother and Survivor

  • CBS executives responded this morning to racial controversies on its two oldest reality shows. Big Brother has again been embroiled in a racism controversy this summer with ex-housemate Kemi Fakunle accusing the show of trying to goad her into acting like a sassy black woman. In addition, Survivor contestant Julia Carter wrote a 4,600-word essay about her experiences with race on the CBS reality competition. "There is a significant difference between diversity and inclusion," Carter wrote. "Casting a few Black faces each season simply isn’t enough. Include them in the story. Stop giving them stereotypical edits that perpetuate the same stereotypes that many of us come on the show to combat." CBS' senior vice president Thom Sherman said of the Big Brother incident: “A producer, we learned, in an attempt to get a soundbite overstepped. That producer was reprimanded and received unconscious bias training as well as other producers on the show. We don’t want that to happen again.” CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl said: "All of our producers receive unconscious bias training," adding that a vast number of contestants “are quite happy on how they’re represented." When NPR's Eric Deggans said: “We’re telling you, you have a problem with your reality shows. Why don’t you just acknowledge that instead of spinning that?," Sherman responded: “On Big Brother, half our cast this year is diverse and over the last three winters there have been people of color.”

    TOPICS: Big Brother, CBS, Survivor, Julia Carter, Kelly Kahl, Kemi Fakunle, Thom Sherman, Diversity, Reality TV