Gran Hermano, or “Big Brother” Spain as it’s known in English, is at the center of a new controversy. Footage has come to light depicting the aftermath of an alleged sexual assault that occurred during the show’s 18th season, reports Variety.
El Confidencial obtained footage that supposedly shows former contestant Carlota Prado watching a video of José María Lopéz sexually assaulting her during a party.
Prado is watching the video while in the diary room of the house. She is heard asking the producers to turn the footage off because of its traumatizing content.
Perhaps one of the most disturbing elements of this entire allegation is that Variety reports that the producers asked Prado not to talk about what she witnessed on the video to anyone else in the house.
We do not know if Prado was even aware of an assault taking place. The incident in question happened during a party where all contestants were drinking quite a bit of alcohol. Likely, Prado was not fully conscious when the alleged assault occurred.
During that season, Lopez was ejected from the house in the aftermath.
Endemol Shine, the production company responsible for airing the series, released a full statement to Variety earlier today, apologizing for the way they handled the entire situation.
The statement from the group claims that Prado was given all the resources they had available to cope with the devastating and unfortunate situation. They also state that Lopez was immediately eliminated from the competition after the executive producers became suspicious of his actions.
“We’d like to stress no footage was ever shot with the intention of being broadcast. However, with hindsight we regret that the conversation where Carlota was informed took place in the diary room environment. The footage was only supplied as evidence when requested by the authorities, encrypted and guarded.”
Endemol Shine claims they had nothing but the best of intentions in telling Prado to keep quiet about what happened to her because they wanted to ensure she would be protected should the authorities and legal teams get involved in the situation.
Their main regret is that the conversation took place in the diary room, which is notable for being used for confessions and revealing pertinent information. The location makes the producers appear to have dubious intentions.
Still, Variety states that “neither Telecinco nor ‘Big Brother’ have contacted Carlota in the two years since. Carlota has been in psychological and psychiatric treatment that whole time, on medication and unable to work.”
The network is currently in the middle of airing its seventh VIP season. It remains unclear if this controversy will affect the “Big Brother” Spain brand moving forward.