Andy McDandy wrote:
If someone really 'gets into' BB and watches it for hours a day, then good luck to them. Personally I try to treat all people as individuals and as worthy of respect anyway. But if it does open a few eyes and minds, and makes a few people - who otherwise wouldn't - see the contestants (and others in society) as 'real people' worthy of respect, and not as exhibits in a modern freak show, that has to be a good thing. I think.
But there's far better ways to do so, and chances are the BB-watching, gossip rag-digesting masses wouldn't really be interested in not viewing 'different' people as freaks.
Maybe, but you're guessing, you don't know and neither do I. You're right that it's unfortunate that some minorities only seem to get exposure via Big Brother, but at least they are getting exposure. As Andy suggests it does change at least some minds.
A few years ago there was a contestant with tourettes. At the time I was teaching a group of teenage girls who were all avid watchers and used to talk constantly about it both to each other in my earshot and sometimes to me. At the start of the series I don't think they had ever heard of tourettes but I watched them move from taking the piss out of the 'weird sweary bloke' to adopting him as their favourite. Now all I'm suggesting is that if they ever meet someone with tourettes, they might treat them with more respect than they would have before they saw the show.
This isn't a defence of Big Brother btw, it's a pile of crap which I've seen very rarely over the last 10 years. However very few things are totally without ANY merit in my experience.