While the U.S. version of Big Brother is no stranger to controversies surrounding race, Big Brother Canada has caused a firestorm for removing a contestant, Jamar Lee, from the house. Fans have taken the show to task and said that he was removed unfairly.
A contestant was controversially removed from the house
Lee was removed from the Big Brother house for allegedly making other houseguests feel uncomfortable. Lee allegedly threatened another houseguest, Kyle Rozendal, and made another one, Vanessa Clements, allegedly “uncomfortable” during a house meeting.
However, as many fans have noted, other houseguests, specifically Rozendal, have said things in the house that could also have been taken as threatening but were not pulled from the house. Many fans have also called out houseguests like Rozendal for microaggressive comments in relation to race, and say that Lee was simply responding to those.
In a statement, Global and Insight Productions, said “Insight Productions has made the difficult decision to remove a houseguest as a result of behaviour which occurred that was a breach of the ‘Big Brother’ house rules. We at Global and Insight Productions take the rules of this competition seriously and with respect to all houseguests past and present, the confines of the Big Brother house can be trying, sometimes leading to a clash of opinions and emotions in an isolated environment. We handle these situations with care and caution, protecting the well-being of our houseguests and ensuring the integrity of this long-standing production.”
Lee also added in a statement, “I take full responsibility for my actions – I lost my cool and that’s not okay. I’ve always stood behind what I believe in and I’m sorry if I let people down. I want to thank everyone for their love and support, it really means a lot… this isn’t the last of me! You feel me?”
This comes at a time where Big Brother Canada has been praised over its past several seasons because it typically does not have to deal with the issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia that often come up in the American version of the show.
Fans have slammed the show and called out a double standard
Big Brother fans have called out the show, noting that the behavior of other contestants, particularly Rozendal, was worse than what Lee said. It has spurred fans to start the #IStandWithJamar hashtag on Twitter, which was a top trending topic on the social media platform on Tuesday. Fans have also flooded Lee’s Instagram comments sending him praise and support.
“The removal of Jamar Lee was wrong. From here, I am done supporting big brother Canada; this includes using the hashtag to tweet, watching the live feeds and the episodes. I can no longer go on supporting a racist show. RT to take a stand and mean it,” said one fan.
Another person added, “Let’s see how many people truly meant it when they said #IStandWithJamar As of today, I’m no longer providing any type of rating for Global & Big Brother Canada. I will not record it on DVR or watch live feeds. I love love love Arisa, but I take a stand.”
“Jamar didn’t even do anything wrong. This is exactly how they use their white privilege, they were so threatened by him that they had him expelled for no reason. Jack literally threatened Kemi’s life by saying he wanted to stomp her and production did nothing. This is so unfair,” commented another viewer.
It seems like for man fans, this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. “So much s**t has been said on BB and they eject him??? I can’t support this show anymore. This is INSANE. We can all roll out the receipts of many white men threatening people and nothing ever happened.. this is crazy,” said someone else.
Lee’s exit will be addressed on the Thursday episode of Big Brother Canada.