Controversy Boosts Ratings For Big Brother
CBS, which had been criticized for removing racist and homophobic comments by Big Brother contestants that were heard on the live Internet feeds, allowed them to air Sunday night. The remarks by Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman referred to one contestant who is Korean-American, another who is black and a third who is gay. The network also aired the comment of another contestant, Howard Overby, who is black, Even when these comments are made in fun, he said, they still hurt and are disrespectful, especially when that person isn't there to hear it and back themselves up. Even before Sunday's show aired, Gries was dropped by her modeling agency and Zimmerman was fired from her job with the East Coast USA Pageant. The controversy was the apparent impetus for an 11-percent boost in the show's ratings from last week. Deadline.com headlined: CBS Stops 'Big Brother' Ratings Slide With Episode about racial slurs.