‘Big Brother 22’: Why Julie Chen Never Wears a Mask During the Show

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the 22nd season of Big Brother for a few weeks, the second All-Stars edition of the show premiered on August 5. To mitigate risks, the evicted houseguests must put on a mask before exiting the house and talking to Julie Chen Moonves. However, the host doesn’t wear a mask, confusing viewers.

Host Julie Chen interviews Chris Williams, the second houseguest to be evicted from the Big Brother house
Host Julie Chen interviews Chris Williams, the second houseguest to be evicted from the Big Brother house | Monty Brinton

‘Big Brother 22’ filming under COVID-19 guidelines

On July 23, 2020, CBS confirmed that Big Brother 22 would feature all returning players for the first time in nearly 15 years. Due to the show filming during the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS released several protocols they would follow to ensure everyone’s safety.

First, the crew tested the 16 houseguests and then, given they provided false tests, sequestered them in separate houses for two weeks. Once inside the BB house, the returning players continue getting tested weekly.

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The crew, who does not have any contact with the houseguests, receives daily screenings for coronavirus-related symptoms and must wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

An on-set COVID-19 compliance officer monitors and ensures everyone is following the guidelines. Additionally, the season will not feature a studio audience for the live tapings of the show.

Julie Chen Moonves resumed her same role as host of ‘Big Brother 22’

Former The Talk co-host Julie Chen Moonves has hosted the popular reality competition series since the first season. While she never goes inside the house, Chen interacts with the viewers, audience, and houseguests in every episode.

She hosts the weekly Head of Household competitions and typically speaks to the competitors through a screen in their living room. The former anchor also interviews evicted houseguests immediately after they exit the house to get their first reaction and explain where things went wrong for the evictee.

RELATED: ‘Big Brother: All-Stars’: Julie Chen Debuts New Sign-Off Quote After Confusing Fans Last Week

Chen returned for the 22nd season, which currently stands as her last as she hasn’t yet renewed her contract, and resumed her same duties without the staple studio audience.

She’s deviated from her stoic reporter way of hosting the show, which earned her the nickname Chenboat, and has gone off-script several times this season. Additionally, the host has begun including inspirational sign-offs at the end of every episode.

Why Julie Chen Moonves never wears a mask

When the houseguests are evicted, Chen tells them to put on a mask, meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, because they are exiting the “Big Brother bubble.” During the interview, the evicted houseguest and Chen sit several feet apart to comply with the COVID-19 guidelines.

Many fans were confused about why the houseguests had to wear masks, but the host didn’t and went home every day. After Keesha Smith’s eviction, Chen addressed it in an Instagram post.

She ensured the viewers that she and all personnel working on the show are regularly tested for COVID-19 and wear masks on-set.

RELATED: ‘Big Brother 22’: Julie Chen All but Confirms No Battle Back in Latest Eviction Interview

The host explained she only removes her mask to speak on television and practices social distancing by sitting several feet apart from the houseguests during the exit interviews.

Some Reddit viewers believe making the houseguests wear the masks is a loophole that allows Chen not to wear one because watching a host with a mask covering half her face wouldn’t look good on television. Big Brother 22: All-Stars airs Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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