The Spanish version of Big Brother is under fire after newly emerged video showed producers forcing a contestant to watch video of her own sexual assault in the diary room, despite the woman’s pleas for them to stop the video.
The incident took place in 2017, when contestant Carlota Prado passed out during an alcohol-fueled party and was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male contestant, Jose Maria Lopez. As CNN noted, the pair had been in a romantic relationship during the show, and video showed that Lopez helped her to bed and then tried to initiate intimate contact. After Prado told him, “No, I can’t,” she collapsed into bed and fell asleep. It was then that Lopez allegedly penetrated her in an attack that lasted five minutes.
The incident was caught on the many cameras present in the Big Brother house, and the following day producers called Prado into the private Diary Room, where one-on-one interviews are conducted during the taping of the show. Producers showed her video of the alleged sexual assault, and Prado begged the Big Brother figure known as Super to stop.
“Please stop, Super, please,” Prado said, complaining that her heart was beating too fast and that she needed medication.
The Super went on to ask Prado not to tell other Big Brother contestants about the alleged attack, and Lopez was removed from the show. Producers also took Prado to a nearby hotel and representatives reported the attack to police, but she did not want to move forward with the complaint. Prado returned to the show five days later.
Video of both the incident and the Diary Room interview were kept under wraps for two years. The incident came to light this week after a report from the Spanish online news outlet El Confidencial.
As CNN noted, the show is now facing an international backlash. A number of advertisers have cut ties, including the major Spanish bank BBVA, and those related to other international versions of the show have spoken out. The show’s production company said that it would review its protocols for contestants who experience trauma.
Prado now said she feels betrayed by the show, which kept watch during the alleged assault but did nothing to stop it. She noted that Lopez even laughed at her the next morning as he claimed he “looked after me” while she was intoxicated.
“They allowed him to stay by my side many hours when they had sufficient proof to get him out immediately and then decide what to do with him,” she told El Confidencial.