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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Jokes' raise questions about Big Brother

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NEW YORK -- A run of ethnically insensitive remarks has continued during filming for the CBS reality TV show Big Brother, raising questions about whether the network should be doing more to police it.

One of the cast members on the program, which throws a group of people who don't know each other in a house together and films them to see how they get along, made remarks during the past week that could be seen as insulting to various ethnic groups.

On the 24-hour Internet feed of the house, Amanda Zuckerman, who's white, complained about a black cast member putting a headband on her greasy, "nappy-hair head." She referred to another black housemate as "the dark knight" and "the black mamba," mocked the accent of a Korean woman and referred to "Puerto Rican showers," leading to a debate about whether she's racist.

"I'm just joking," said Zuckerman, a 28-year-old real estate agent from Boynton Beach, Fla. "I've had sex with Puerto Rican guys before."

Earlier this summer, two other cast members were heard making anti-black comments.

CBS airs Big Brother on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday during the summer.

CBS Corp. chief executive Leslie Moonves, whose wife, Julie Chen, hosts Big Brother, said last week he finds some of the behaviour on the show "absolutely appalling."

Big Brother, now in its 15th season, is averaging 7.1 million viewers per episode this season, up nine per cent over last year, the Nielsen ratings company said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 9, 2013 D2

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