CBS Insufficient Statement About Homophobic ‘Big Brother’ Contestant Jeff Schroeder Dodges Real Issue

CBS has issued a statement about the homophobic rant made by Big Brother contestant Jeff Schroeder on the show's live feed this week, in which he suggested gays are pedophiles in an argument with another contestant about gay Harry Potter wizard Dumbledore.

Schroeder Writes CBS in the statement:

"Big Brother is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 — and seeing every moment of their lives. At times, the Houseguests make comments, reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a Houseguest appearing on BIG BROTHER, either on any live feed from the House or the broadcast, are those of the individual(s) speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program."

Schroeder Andy Dehnart of Reality Blurred, who notes that the livefeed segment will not likely be aired on the broadcast version, explains why this statement, and CBS' actions surrounding it, are BS:

While I appreciate the network’s condemnation of “prejudices and other beliefs that [they] do not condone,” the problem is that they end up condoning it because of the way the show is edited and broadcast. As I’ve pointed out before, the show could easily air exchanges with offensive words bleeped out, just as they do for swear words. But they don’t, so the majority of the show’s audience doesn’t know what happened, and that’s the real problem. And simply dismissing it via a statement released to the media that only a fraction of the show’s audience will read does not go far enough to condemn what happened. They need to do that publicly, on television.

But the biggest problem is that executive producer Allison Grodner consistently edits the show to create characters that don’t exist in real life. Part of the reason why some people have an angry response to criticism of Jeff is they see him through the eyes of the editors: an affable guy with a crush on a nice girl, not a person who has hurled gay slurs, angrily dismissed a fellow houseguest’s confession about a family member, and believes that gay men shouldn’t be around children.

Another critic and I asked Grodner about this last summer, and I’d encourage you to read her full answers. The gist is that she doesn’t want to “put out” awful opinions and beliefs onto the airwaves, and thinks that their edit preserves the “intent,” which she and I obviously disagree with: the fight in which Jeff hurled gay slurs was edited in a way that made him look like the victim.

GLAAD calls CBS' response to Big Brother contestant Jeff Schroeder's homophobia "inadequate", but its complaint doesn't get to the meat of the issue the way Dehnart's does. GLAAD's rather unhappy that the network chose to bring Schroeder back for another season, and chose to hire him on another show as well.


  1. Fenrox says

    regardless of what was said, CBS still aired it and allowed it to touch many people. They didn’t say it or believe in it, but they still need to address that they are dealing and pushing hate. Something like a quick bumper to the episode with some CBS suit that explains that the company doesn’t condone the actors views and is sorry that his hate speech happened.

  2. Francis says

    So, the incident was aired on the latest episode?

    To me, CBS are playing both sides of the fence here. They don’t want to be associated with Jeff’s homophobia, yet they are perfectly willing to not address his homophobia for what it is, because Jeff is the main fan favorite on the show and they don’t want to ruin his image. They’re feeding off the controversy yet at the same time saying they are against Jeff’s actions. That is unacceptable.

    Remember, Big Brother is a reality TV show. There have been many racist, sexist, homophobic statements, statements about individuals’ families and dead parents, and ultimately CBS does little to nothing about it, because all they care about are ratings.

    Ultimately, I don’t wish Jeff to be kicked off the show. No, I wish that, as Fenrox said, they make a notification before or after the segment of what was said, and how they do not condone hate speech as OK. Just allowing this to slide sends the message it’s OK to be vulgar.

  3. Jay says

    They haven’t aired it. Yesterdays episode was about the stuff that happened before his rant. Today’s episode will cover the period in which he had his little rant, but CBS wont air it. They completely skipped over his fag comments to Russel in season 11 and they’ll completely skip his rant this season on tonight’s episode.

  4. AJ says

    Does anyone else remember how they edited his argument with Russell? They made HIM look like the victim!! They conveniently left out the fact that he was screaming homophobic stuff at him!

  5. James Troia says

    Had he been going on about n*gger this, n*gger that, CBS would have a problem with that, and would of used to it to milk even more attention for the show.

    However, bashing on the gays..well that’s totally cool in CBS’s opinion.

  6. Francis says

    Jeff is a favorite of the show, and has done other shows for CBS. People see him as an attractive God-fearing Midwestern All-American boy. CBS isn’t going to do anything about it, because again, they really only care about ratings.

    Take me back to when a contest a few years ago said horrible anti-semitic comments, and all CBS mustered up was a stock response like this one. They don’t want to associate with the bigotry, but if the controversy gives the show attention, they’re all for it.

    Wonder what Jeff is going to say after the show. I’m assuming he’ll play the “I have gay friends, I’m no homophobe” card.

  7. Glen says

    Why have a 24/7 feed if you are not going to include that. He said infront of other houseguest one of whom seem pretty opposed to his opinions. More to the point he keeps insisting that people are being PC for the cameras that people really feel the same way he does. That is more scary.

  8. Chitown Kev says

    “Had he been going on about n*gger this, n*gger that, CBS would have a problem with that…”

    CBS would have a problem with it but towleroad wouldn’t, as we can see.

  9. jakeinlove says

    You know what I have to stand by CBS. Although I don’t like one bit of what I heard as CBS said the view points are his own and this is a “reality” show. I would rather know up front that the man is an idiot and has a hateful agenda than sit around in a phoney Kumbaya mentality. Furthermore, why are people still watching Big Brother anyway?

  10. Redebbm says

    It feels like a double edged sword to me, on one hand most get to see the idiot that he is on the other, this is only going to make others like him want to give their TVs a high five.
    Besides the point Big Brother has gone downhill, this season is falling apart fast (I didn’t even bother with yesterday’s episode. Bringing back old favorites and pitting them against the new people made for a boring and predictable chain of events happen. Honestly the producer and CBS are running out of ideas. And like Jeff its just sad to watch.

  11. Chitown kev says


    You said that, I didn’t.

    I didn’t say that Andy wouldn’t have a problem with it.

    But the towleroad archives speak for themselves (i.e. the “crack-smoking n*gger” comment is only the tip of the iceberg).

  12. Harrison says

    Well, I was prepared to come on here and post “There are 168 hours in a week, but the show is only on for three hours. It’s unfair for you to critique the producers for not including this, they don’t include a bunch of things that happen in the house.”

    And yet, we just had a segment in which Brendon and Rachel had a fight because she used their private term of endearment, “Bookie Bear,” in the backyard, and now all the other contestants are calling him that too.

    Sooooo….. yeah, I call shenanigans. And yes, I watch Big Brother.

  13. Bob says

    I believe I read on that Jeff works for CBS – in an advertising sales capacity, not just a part-time reality TV cast member.

    If so, that adds a very interesting dynamic…

  14. Lynn says

    jeff is an idiot and only cares for himself and his comments are unexceptable and also i cannot believe BB condones and allows him to continually drop his F-bombs every word that comes out his mouth includes the F-Bomb..CBS BB is going to crap and is not fit to watch anymore

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