March 26 2008

Reality TV As The Roman Colosseum

Big Brother 9I’m not sure who I first heard make the analogy that reality TV was the modern day equivalent of the Roman colosseum, but truer words have never been said.  As I’ve mentioned before, I watch Big Brother (BB).  I’ve been a fan since season 1, but I have seen it sliding deeper and deeper into insanity with each passing season, and last night it really went to far.

For the past week, Chelsia, a 21-year-old girl from Iowa, has been up for eviction, and there is no denying she has not handled it well.   She has had two incidents of screaming at Natalie, a 28-year-old woman from Oregon, whom she blames for a lot of the problems in the house.  The worst incident was on Easter Sunday when Chelsia destroyed some eggs Natalie had painted for Easter, followed by more yelling about Natalie’s past.

Last night, presumably Chelsia’s last night in the house, she playfully tossed some grapes at Adam, the current Head of Household, and the guy who nominated her for eviction.  Adam did not take kindly to it and proceeded to throw Chelsia to the floor, hold her down, and rub the grape stems in her face, cutting her nose.  He then left the room and went to bed.  Chelsia declared it as being very creepy, but did not go file a complaint.  Today when the subject was brought up, Adam admitted he had done it out of anger, and also admitted that outside of the house he would have done more to her.

You can debate that Chelsia baited him with throwing the grapes, but I do not feel at any time was his reaction warranted.  There is never an excuse for a man that is nearly double a woman’s weight, and a good foot taller than her, to physically attack her.  Big Brother was horribly remiss in not even issuing a warning to Adam as houseguests are not allowed to physically attack each other.  I have emailed CBS and voiced my concerns over the situation.

Chelsia and JamesThis isn’t where all of this stops though for me.  I went to some of my favorite BB message boards today, and found numerous messages from users saying how Chelsia got what she deserved for being such a brat.  Excuse me?  I know she has been a bit of a terror this week VERBALLY, but that is no reason for him to have assaulted her.  People posted how they wish he had done more to her (I am intentionally not linking to messages as I will not give these people the satisfacton), how he was justified in his actions and that Big Brother is right not to give him a warning.

Have we come to this?  Have we come to the point where a 117 lbs woman (they all weighed themselves in the house) makes verbal comments to a totally separate person, and it’s okay for a 230 lbs man to throw her to the ground in a mixture of revenge and anger?  Mind you that this is the Adam I wrote about being fired from his PR job at the United Autism Foundation for referring to people with Autism as “retards”, so has already shown himself to be a a paragon of brains.

How can people possibly advocate this behavior? Again, since I have already had to make this clear a hundred times today, I do not advocate Chelsia’s emotional explosions, but you’d find it next to impossible to tell me what Adam did was deserved.  How far have fallen as a society where we think physical violence such as this is ever excusable?  Are we really headed for a day where someone must die to entertain us?  Shall we start a weekly wife beating show?  -announcer’s voice- “Tune in this week when John’s wife, Susan, will get what she deserves for mouthing off to her!”  Folks, if you think a man shoving around a woman is EVER necessary on a reality show, please seek help.

If you would like to express your displeasure to CBS, please go here and click “Feedback” on the left hand side.

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