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Big Brother’ Housemates Kept Clueless About Coronavirus Pandemic by jideflash(m): 4:25pm On Mar 18, 2020
Contestants on the German version of the reality show “Big Brother” are about to get a huge reality check.

Producers of the series have shielded the 14 housemates from information about the coronavirus pandemic since the show premiered in Cologne, Germany, on Feb. 6, according to The Guardian. Now the series will air a live episode Tuesday in which residents find out the true scope of the virus’ worldwide impact. The outlet adds that the show reportedly decided to do a special reveal episode after getting flack on social media.

Dubbed an “ethical and moral nightmare” scenario, teasers suggest the live segment (airing at 7 p.m. German time and 2 p.m. ET) will be must-see TV that panders to viewers’ lowest common emotional denominator.

“Why would you waste the TV gold that is contestants’ hysterical tears?” asks UK-based culture critic Issy Samson.

Four new houseguests joined the cast in Germany on March 6, but they were told not to divulge what was happening around the globe regarding COVID-19.

The German edition isn’t the only franchise installment shielding its housemates. Versions of “Big Brother” in Brazil — whose cast has been sequestered since January — and Canada, who entered their competition on March 4, have also kept their doors closed to outside information.

The “Big Brother” franchise is the ultimate act of self-quarantining. The series isolates a group of strangers in a studio house for months at a time with no contact from or information about the outside world. Cameras capture them performing challenges, forming alliances, attempting to get along and getting into spats as houseguests are gradually eliminated and a final winner is awarded a cash prize.

The franchise is not exactly known for “social distancing,” as cast members tend to be a mixture of hookup- and hot tub-loving hotties.

While film and TV production has ground to a halt in recent days, Season 22 of the US “Big Brother” — which would film this summer — is still taking cast applications online; however, numerous in-person casting calls have been canceled.

There are some people, however, who think that ignorance would be bliss compared to the constant onslaught of information about the coronavirus threat via news outlets and social media.

“Is it wrong that I’m slightly jealous of a group of people in Germany on a tv show that are completely unaware there is a global pandemic?” asked one tweeter using the hashtag #BigBrotherGermany.

Shielding “Big Brother” contestants from real-world information has precedent, as the show generally only informs contestants about outside events if a relative falls ill. But following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, US producers chose to inform cast members of what happened that day because a housemate’s cousin was missing after the collapse of the World Trade Center.

The spread of the coronavirus has led to a near shutdown of commercial businesses in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In NYC, the changes have turned the city into a near-ghost town. In addition, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday he would consider a shelter-in-place order not unlike the one in San Francisco.


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Re: Big Brother’ Housemates Kept Clueless About Coronavirus Pandemic by jideflash(m): 12:33pm On Mar 28, 2020

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