Why Didn't 'Big Brother' Show Frankie's Rape Jokes? The Show Doesn't Always Air Controversial Footage
If you've been near the Internet this week, you've probably heard about Frankie's controversial comments in the Big Brother house, which basically sealed Frankie's fate as the villain of this season of Big Brother. In case you haven't had the misfortune of hearing Frankie's comments yet, here's what went down. As Frankie talked about drinking alcohol with Derrick, Christine, Cody, and Caleb, for some reason he suggested that Cody and Caleb should "double team" Victoria and "take all of her virginities in one night," beginning a string of "jokes" about raping her.
I was eager to see how Big Brother was going to handle the controversy. Last season on Big Brother, the racist comments in the house got to be so rampant that a disclaimer aired before one of the episodes that said CBS did not condone the offensive remarks. I wondered if Wednesday night's episode would receive a similar treatment.
But no. There was nothing. No disclaimer. No footage of the incident. Nothing.
It is unfortunate that Frankie's comments didn't make it to the actual episode of Big Brother. There are still so many people who watch every episode of the show but don't watch the live feeds or don't pay attention to the news who will never know about what Frankie said. They probably still hold him in a very positive light, which is just so far from the truth, based on how he has behaved on Big Brother this season.
With a show like Big Brother that documents the lives of regular people 24/7, the houseguests are bound to say stupid, offensive, and inappropriate things from time to time. Unfortunately, it seems like they rarely make it to air on Big Brother.
First and foremost, there's practical reasons why Big Brother didn't air the footage. They have to fit dozens of hours of footage into one show that's less than 45 minutes long. With all of the Power of Veto stuff, scheming, and general shenanigans, not everything can make the cut. One would hope that the show would air some segments that actually opened up some intelligent discourse on why joking about rape can be damaging. But reserving some air time for a couple thousand more "Hollas" is apparently a better way for the show to use its airtime.
Big Brother also tries to be a "family-friendly" show, even though it's filled with sexual innuendos. On the whole, the show tends to shy away from showing anything too controversial and dark. It's a light-hearted but serious competition that likes to keep the drama contained to gameplay and not real-world issues or concerns.
It's possible that CBS is waiting for Thursday's live eviction show to comment on the controversy or explain why they didn't air the segment. Frankie's intended jokes really took off on the Internet and gave himself and the show some bad publicity, way beyond just the annals of the Internet where Big Brother fans roam. It's become national news, and that can be hard to ignore. However, Thursday's episode is going to be jam-packed with a double eviction, so it's unlikely that Big Brother will devote any time to what Frankie said.
CBS' failure to air Frankie's comments is only going to make the conspiracy theories that producers are rigging Big Brother in Frankie's favor that much stronger. Even though Frankie is the best-known houseguest with a very famous and beloved sister, I sincerely doubt that the network would do such a thing. But it is Big Brother, and we're supposed to "expect the unexpected," after all.
Image: Lisette M. Azar/CBS