‘Big Brother’ Racism Proves To Be A Ratings Goldmine

Dusten Carlson - Author

Aug. 23 2017, Updated 3:46 a.m. ET

Big Brother 15 is earning an unfortunate reputation thanks to certain racist and bigoted members of its cast, but you won’t see it in the show’s numbers. Since the controversy broke last week, ratings for Big Brother are through the roof.

Contestants Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman were caught by Big Brother fans watching the live 24/7 feeds on the Internet last week making racially insensitive and homophobic remarks. Perhaps most infamously, Zimmerman referred to welfare as “n***er insurance.”

Both got fired from their day jobs over the racist comments, and CBS issued a statement condemning their words (even though they aired a “racism supercut” anyway). But Big Brother‘s racism problem has turned into a ratings goldmine for CBS.

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According to Nielsen ratings, 6.25 million people tuned in for Big Brother on Sunday, after the racism story made headlines last week. This was an increase over the 5.9 million viewers the show pulled for the first three episodes, according to the ratings outfit.

Viewership was down overall from last year, but the spike in viewership after the show made international headlines isn’t a coincidence.

It’s also notable that last week was the week of July 4th, which has the notorious distinction of being the least-watched TV week of the year. But Big Brother’s ratings soared. How interesting.

Anyway, while those inside the house are blissfully unaware that we’re talking so much about them out here int he real world, one former Big Brother contestant, David Girton, admitted that he’s happy to be out of the house but strangely added that he’s still hoping Aaryn Gries wins.

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