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CBS says Big Brother contestant Memphis Garrett did not use the N-word, adds that it has a no-tolerance policy for "hate speech"

  • CBS said in a statement that after an investigation, it is confident Garrett didn't use the N-word. "Producers have listened to the scene using enhanced audio," CBS said in the statement after fans reported thinking they heard him use the slur on the live feed Wednesday night. "Additionally, the Network’s program practices team isolated and played back the scene several different ways using professional, studio-grade audio equipment. After close examination, it has been determined a racial epithet was not said or uttered." CBS added: “Hate speech will not be tolerated, and those who violate the policy will be removed from the Big Brother House.” As Reality Blurred's Andy Dehnart points out, that last sentence is important. "That’s new, and welcome, because Big Brother has hosted an incredible amount of hate speech, including overtly racist language and racial slurs, uttered by everyone from winners to players no one remembers," he says. "Last season, when white men spoke violently about a Black woman, one of them was only warned by producers. The show’s winner denied being a racist during the finale—though almost a year later, apologized for both social media posts and past behavior. So CBS’s clear statement about 'hate speech' represents a turning point, one that’s similar to the point the network and its executives finally arrived at last December, when they announced substantive changes that they’d be making with Survivor’s production, including actually prohibiting sexual harassment in the game."

    TOPICS: Big Brother, CBS, Reality TV