Earlier this month, Time Magazine reported that contestants of the German version of reality show Big Brother, Big Brother Deutschland, had not heard about the outside world since the show began filming on February 6! Four contestants who entered the German Big Brother house in March were even instructed NOT to tell anyone about COVID-19, which was an outbreak, not a pandemic, at that time.
Like other Big Brother shows, housemates aren't normally told about anything that happens in the outside world, unless it's about the death of a close relative or friend. On March 17, after receiving flak from social media, the Big Brother Deutschland producers finally informed the contestants about the situation.
In a live broadcast, the housemates were shown a video of the latest news developments in Europe. A doctor, along with the show's host, Jochen Schropp, talked to the housemates through a protective glass "barrier" to answer their questions about the COVID-19 pandemic. According to E! they were told that if things got worse or if any family members got sick, they were fully allowed to leave the house. The contestants also "asked about the death rate and risk for their family members, and many were in tears by the end of the discussion."
Entertainment Weekly reports that the contestants were shown videos of their friends and family, reassuring them that they were healthy and encouraging them to remain on the show. As expected, more of the housemates burst into tears!
Here are some photos and clips of the live special:
One tweet claimed: "In my opinion, the host and doctor are downplaying the situation (maybe to avoid self evictions)."
According to Fox News, Germany has more than 30,000 confirmed coronavirus cases—the fifth-most in the world. The country, however, has a low death rate, with 130 reported casualties. Big Brother Deutschland is still ongoing.
Big Brother Canada also told its houseguests about the pandemic recently, on March 15. "Since you guys have been sequestered with us, the virus has continued to spread worldwide," said Erin Brock, the show's executive producer. Right off the bat, one contestant said that he would be leaving the show if he learned that his kids were sick. Everyone was assured, however, that their families were healthy and well.
Watch their reactions here:
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