Do y’all watch Big Brother, the reality show competition in which a group of contestants known as “HouseGuests” live together in a house cut off from the outside world while being closely monitored by cameras and are eliminated throughout the series until a final contestant wins the grand prize?
Did y’all know the grand prize for this season is $750,000, which is apparently the cost of having dinner with Jay-Z plus another quarter mil?
Did y’all know it took 23 seasons for the final six contestants of the show to consist of an all-Black alliance?
— Author Deedee Cummings (@AuthorDeedeeC) September 10, 2021
That’s right, good people, the final six of this season’s completion consists of guests Azah Awasum, Derek Frazier, Hannah Chaddha, Kyland Young, Tiffany Mitchell, and Xavier Prather. The group is known as the “Cookout” alliance, which, of course, is a name that would only be fitting for an all-Black final cast.
(As far as I know, white people don’t have cookouts. They have dinner parties, potlucks and your occasional shindig—but no cookouts. And nobody wanted to see “the green bean casserole alliance” win this time around, so this is a good look.)
According to Screen Rant, the six Blackity-Black contestants “understood the importance of representing themselves not only within the context of this franchise but also for the reality TV genre as a whole,” so they successfully crafted and executed a strategy that would ensure the finalists would all be Black so that we’re not left with another season where an “Eww, who made this mac and cheese?” alliance makes it to finals.
This ended what many fans consider a tradition on the show of contestants of color, especially Black contestants, being excluded from joining strong alliances simply because they were vastly outnumbered by “raisins in my potato salad” alliances that targetted them for eviction because they just weren’t of the right ilk.
This is the part where I remind you about the time white contestant Memphis Garrett was caught calling Black housemate David Alexander the n-word during a whitey-exclusive conversation between housemates of the “tell the DJ to play some Macklemore” alliance.
So, the BB23 final six have made history, but apparently, members of the whiny white people brigade weren’t happy about it, because the show’s host, Julie Chen Moonves felt the need to address fans’ concerns over the all-Black final alliance saying,
“I have heard some call the formation of the Cookout a form of racism. In my humble opinion, it is not.”
Whoever those fans are, they must have forgotten that reality shows like this have a history of tokenizing Black people and placing them in a group of “salt and pepper is adequate seasoning for everything” alliances where they’re ultimately outcasted.
Screen Rant noted that it took 25 seasons for The Bachelor to cast a Black lead, and, last year, Da’Vonne Rogers became the first-ever Black winner of America’s Favorite Houseguest on Big Brother. Also, in 40 seasons, Vecepia Robinson is the only Black woman to win on Survivor.
In fact, Big Brother was among a handful of shows, including Survivor, that CBS promised last year would feature casts that are 50 percent Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in order to break away from its usual casts of “I prefer Taylor Swift’s cover of ‘September‘” alliances.
Diversity is a good thing, people. That’s it and that’s all.
Congrats to The Cookout!
They did it. They fucking did it. Most successful alliance in Big Brother history. No matter what else happens the rest of the season, this is an amazing moment. #TheCookout #bb23 pic.twitter.com/oSpBdw0fr4
— Lisa Bee (@leebee4life) September 10, 2021
— givemethekeybitch (@Franco83201032) September 10, 2021