Germans Competing On Big Brother Haven’t Been Told About COVID-19 Gravity
It’s not uncommon for reality television contestants to be isolated from the outside world. In fact, on shows like The Bachelor, Big Brother, and The Real World, they want castmembers so removed that they take away their phones, papers, magazines, and don’t put a television or computer in the house.
On The Real World in 2001, they made an exception and brought in a television after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But it looks like in Germany, the current Coronavirus pandemic does not qualify as a big enough emergency for an exception to the ‘no outside interference’ rule, so the contestants competing for the cash prize have no clue that Coronavirus is even a big deal for their family members and friends living outside of the Big Brother house.
The German contestants entered the Big Brother house on February 10th, just over a month ago. They had been in isolation since February 6th. At that point, the global death toll was just over 500 and most of the fatalities reported were in China. (For the record, the current death toll for this strain of the Coronavirus is over 6,500 worldwide and there are 3,000 cases confirmed in Germany.) Germany had reported a domestic transmission at the end of January, but when the first fourteen cast members entered the house, it was completely unknown what a global emergency COVID-19 would become. New castmembers are not allowed to mention it.
Now, viewers of the show are questioning whether it’s fair to keep these people in the dark as their family is at risk in the outside world. Sure, being in the Big Brother house is basically a quarantine of its own but is there an unstated understanding between houseguests and production to communicate something of this magnitude?
One of my favourite headlines about the Corona Virus in Germany is how the participants of Big Brother have no idea what’s going on. They moved in on February 6 and haven’t had access to any news since then. And nobody is allowed to tell them.
— Conrad Barwa (@ConradkBarwa) March 14, 2020
On Germany and Canada they have people on a Big Brother house and the participants don’t fucking know about the Coronavirus pandemic, and the new people that go inside the house are not allowed to tell them. #CoronavirusQuarantine
— Marina (@TheOceanMarina) March 16, 2020
Others, however, are taking the “ignorance is bliss” approach and think that the German houseguests on Big Brother are the lucky ones.
I am so jealous of them all
— Stefan von Imhof (@stefanvonimhof) March 14, 2020
Just heard that the cast of big brother Germany dont know about the Coronavirus because they aren't allowed news from the outside world so they're all just chilling in a hot tub together unbothered, I'm so jealous
— George Bewley (@georgebewley) March 16, 2020
It’s true that Big Brother Canada contestants don’t seem to know about the gravity of the situation, either. A clip is circulating online in which castmembers are discussing why it doesn’t seem there’s a live audience anymore. In Canada, large gatherings are being discouraged so Big Brother opted to cancel live studio tapings. But the Canadian contestants were put in isolation at the beginning of March, so there was slightly more information on COVID-19 that they had access to.
Canadian Big Brother contestants starting to cotton onto Covid https://t.co/zN2pzsjmJ9
— Elle Hunt (@elle_hunt) March 14, 2020