After Many Calls For Inclusion And Representation, CBS Will Ensure All Of Their Casts Are Diverse
Reality television obsessed fandoms may be happy their favorite shows are getting a revamp on screen. If you’ve been following some of the biggest reality competition shows in existence, such as the CBS network’s Survivor and Big Brother, you’ll know typically casting will choose a mostly Caucasian cast, with very, very few ethnic characters and probably the inclusion of one gay or lesbian person. Executives have now caught onto the wave of criticism coming from social media activists and even previous contestants on their series. Now, the network has declared that moving ahead: They are ensuring diversity will be in the forefront while casting.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Survivor, Big Brother, and popular CBS dating show, Love Island, will have at least half of their upcoming cast members be persons of color. Social media definitely played a part, especially Big Brother’s Da’Vonne Rogers winning the latest America’s Favorite Houseguest prize in the most recent season, but previous contestants from Survivor have led the charge. Survivor: Marquesas alumni, Sean Rector, claims he has never returned to the series because of the show’s racism bias. Another African American contestant, Jolanda Jones, pointed out that she created The Black Survivor Alliance where former contestants can discuss how behind-the-scenes racism has affected them. Jones believes that having a truly diverse cast will help shape these shows and will allow anyone to win. Survivor: Cagayan’s J’Tia Taylor claims the show’s edit portrays African American contestants as lazy, crazy, or sidekicks – which tends to always sway towards negative representation.
While no word of being more inclusive to members of the LGBTQ community were admitted in this statement, it’s almost easy to guess that this may change as well. Shows like Big Brother strive on the showmance storyline (where two contestants pursue a relationship while on camera), but it may be time for a gay or lesbian romance on these popular shows. Typically, CBS reality shows will toss in one gay or lesbian character, with the exception of Big Brother 9 forcing two gay men together as a couple (one would quit within the first few days of production) and Survivor bringing Hall of Fame Villain, Colton Cumbie, and his then-boyfriend, Caleb Bankston, on one season of the series, Survivor: Blood VS. Water and another gay couple, Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, to a separate season, Survivor: San Juan del Sur.
Are you excited for the impending diverse casts on some of reality televisions biggest shows?
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.
H/T: Entertainment Weekly