As Big Brother plumbs new depths with their latest publicity mongering exercise involving stillbirth, the mock media outrage is reaching heights not seen since last year’s p-nisgate aka turkeyslapgate.
It’s all pretty predictable. It may be losing the ratings war, but BB can always rely on the media for a dose of free publicity. Meanwhile, papers fill their pages, talkback calls flood in, blogs light up, academics get a byline, ACA n TT have an episode sewn up and the PM gets a sound bite.
Here are some of the vaguely controversial moments from seven years of watching twentysomethings flirt in a spa that BB has managed to spin into a community service announcement:
- The spin: let’s talk about s-xual harassment. The reality: Two housemates slap another housemate in her face with their genitals. ‘Turkey Slap’ is launched into popular lexicon, resulting in recent headline “Turkey Slap Baby Joy.”
- The spin: let’s talk about refugee rights. The reality: A housemate tapes his mouth shut to promote awareness of refugee rights, creating many minutes of dead air on live television. BB refuses to give him a car.
- The spin: Let’s talk about body image. The reality: A BB cameraman is overheard calling a housemate fat.
- The spin: Let’s talk about racism. The reality: A housemate tells a racist joke .
- The spin: Let’s talk about homophobia. The reality: A housemate is homophobic.
- The spin: Let’s talk about censorship. The reality: A housemate refers to himself as a “dense c**t.”
We could go on, but we’re boring ourselves. Here’s a snapshot of the latest round of BB free publicity with the help of our friends at Media Monitors (they’ve clocked up 66 items so far):
2SM (Sydney), Mornings, 04/05/2007 11:06AM Compere: Leon Delaney
Delaney says Big Brother, TV show, has gone too far and he says the show should be dropped from television.
2UE (Sydney), Mornings, 04/05/2007 11:06AM Compere: John Laws
Email: Annette says Laws makes her want to scream for being such a hypocrite. …She says Big Brother gives the older generation an insight into the younger generation. Laws says he did not put in the cameras in and it had nothing to do with him and he does not want the camera there because he cannot pick his nose or scratch his crotch.
3AW (Melbourne), Breakfast, 04/05/2007 07:13AM Compere: Ross Stevenson and John Burns Regular Segment: Rumour File. Caller Mark says that the Big Brother house is not in Dreamworld but in the middle of the bush, and this will not be revealed. Burns says sarcastically that this is a small dent in an otherwise credible program.
3AW (Melbourne), Morning, 04/05/2007 10:37AM Compere: Neil Mitchell
Regular Segment: TV with Flip Shelton. Hosts discuss that the producers of Big Brother producers did know housemate Kate had suffered a late term miscarriage when giving her a a baby task in the house.
K-ROCK FM (Geelong), 09:00 News, 04/05/2007 09:01AM Compere: Newsreader. There are calls for Federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan to take action against ‘alleged reality show’ Big Brother…
Nova 91.9FM (Adelaide), 09:00 News, 04/05/2007 09:00AM Compere: Newsreader. Claims today that Big Brother knew about Kate’s miscarriage before it set that toy baby task, and then had to pull out.
B105 (Brisbane), 08:00 News, 04/05/2007 08:13AM Compere: Newsreader
The Mum of Big Brother housemate Kate says she has no doubt producers played on the fact that her daughter had a miscarriage …
2DAY FM (Sydney), The Kyle and Jackie O Show, 04/05/2007 07:55AM Compere: Kyle and Jackie O. Listeners discuss a Big Brother controversy where producers ordered contestants to look after a mock baby despite knowing one contestant, Kate, had a stillborn baby 18 months ago. – Caller Ashley thinks this is what the show is about. Jackie thinks it was a sick.
The Daily Tele’s comprehensive coverage: Big Brother has sunk to a new low, with revelations that the show knew a contestant had had a stillbirth, yet decided to go ahead with a task requiring her to keep a toy baby “alive”… Naked anguish: Pictures of the stunt backfiring. … What do you think? Join our Big Brother blogs and tell us whether the producers behind the stillbirth stunt should be sacked in our home page poll.
Adelaide Now: The task caused the contestant, Kate Gladman, 25, a government lawyer from Victoria, to break down. She refused to continue the task – to take care of a computerised life-size baby doll that was programmed to cry and required care.
The Herald Sun: Readers’ Comments on Big Brother crosses the line.
The Age: The incident appeared to unify the housemates and may boost Kate’s chances at staying in the house when the first contestant is evicted on Sunday night.
Perth Now: BB’s Sadistic Ratings Grab
Geelong Advertiser: Ten Knew About Kate’s Baby