‘Big Brother’ Fans React to Most Diverse Cast in Show’s History

Big Brother 23 Premiere

Big Brother officially kicked off its 23rd season on Wednesday night, and viewers were pleased to see CBS keep its promise in increasing the diversity of its cast.

Julie Chen-Moonves introduced the 16 new houseguests to the “Big Brother Beach House” for another season of alliances, backstabbing, and showmances. And with the new season came new twists, like how the contestants will be competing in teams of four and the overall prize fund being increased from half a million dollars to $750,000. But the most welcome change was the cast itself.

Big Brother has come under scrutiny in the past for issues surrounding race, both on-screen and behind the camera. Several past houseguests have been caught making racist remarks on the show, most notably in the 2015 and 2019 editions. Following backlash over how the network and production handled those controversies, CBS vowed last year that going forward, its reality show casts would include at least 50% Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC).

Fans were happy to see the show deliver on its promise in Wednesday’s 90-minute season premiere. Of the 16 houseguests, eight are POC, and several contestants identify as LGBTQ+. “Shoutout to the new casting team for casting 8 POC & 4 LGBTQ!,” wrote one Twitter user. Many others shared similar sentiments across social media.

“In summers past, we’ve seen some people who are used to their bubble, where their world outside of the Big Brother house is not very diverse, and then they behave in a way that is unacceptable,” Chen-Moonves told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the premiere. “So hopefully with this diverse cast, those who are, quote-unquote, minorities, are going to be able to have deep conversations and school people who maybe come from a neighborhood or an area where there’s not a lot of diversity.”