Julie Chen Moonves has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Season 24 of “Big Brother.”
During Thursday’s episode of E!’s “Daily Pop,” the host of the CBS reality show was asked about the microaggressions that are going on inside the house this season against contestant Taylor Hale.
“Microaggressions are real and they happen. I don’t think most people, when they are committing it, that they are even aware of what they’re doing. I think that with the live feeds it is easy,” Chen said. “I think what we need to do is ask ourselves, ‘Who am I — who is anyone — to judge somebody else?’”
The host, who has been part of the reality show since its 2000 debut, noted that viewers “haven’t walked in their shoes” or lived inside the house.
“We haven’t been in that pressure cooker situation. And a lot of times when someone is feeling insecure about themselves, or seeing another individual as a threat to their game, that’s when you see classic ‘Big Brother’ ‘I’m going to trash talk someone behind his or her back,’” she continued.
Since the season’s start last week, many viewers, past “Big Brother” contestants and even a casting producer have called out the cast for making comments about Hale, calling her “aggressive” and bullying her for no reason. Many even said they didn’t like her from the moment they saw her and claimed they’re worried that she will “blow up” at them if she gets nominated.
In a separate interview with “Parade” magazine, Chen responded to the Twitter outcry.
“What I think has been a little bit surprising is how Twitter and the internet has exploded in really jumping on someone, which I never like. I don’t think any of us are in any position to judge any other human being,” she said. “What I think Taylor has experienced in the house and what we’ve seen on the live feeds are separate from each other. A lot of it has been classic ‘Big Brother’ trash talk behind someone’s back because you feel threatened by them. In many ways, ‘Big Brother’ is like high school on steroids. And if you were to ask Taylor, you know, prior to becoming a replacement nominee, she simply was not aware of how much jealousy there was. So I would say, let’s all take a pause. Let’s try not to judge. Please leave the judging to the judge: Father God. And let’s exercise some compassion for one another. We don’t know what it’s like to go through that Big Brother house. Have some mercy and some grace and some forgiveness. And if someone can come out of the house, sees what their actions were in the house, and learns something from it, and is humbled by the whole experience, then hallelujah! That’s a beautiful thing.”
She added, “So I think people need to just open up their hearts a little bit more, and show some kindness and some forgiveness. Give someone a chance to change, to see their actions, and learn and grow from it.”
When asked about the “mob mentality” building in the house, Chen fired back. “It’s so interesting that you use the term ‘mob mentality.’ Because isn’t that what Twitter has done? Aren’t you all being hypocrites? There has been this mob mentality created against people in the house, who viewers feel have not been kind to Taylor. I think anytime you’re nominated, it’ll bring you to tears. Because at the end of the day, you want to be liked,” she said. “I feel for Taylor, who’s been told that she has rubbed some people the wrong way. We all walk through life thinking that we’re good, decent people. You don’t set out to be unlikable. It hurts. It hurts and I have sympathy for her. I have sympathy for everyone in that house. It’s not easy.”
The first live eviction airs on CBS Thursday, July 14 at 9 p.m. ET.