The Big Brother franchise is no stranger to controversy, which is something American fans know all too well after the litany of problems that came up during Season 21. Occasionally, some of the controversy comes from how the show handled these incidents, which is what the Spanish version of Big Brother, Gran Hermano, is currently under scrutiny for. The reality series is under fire after video footage surfaced of producers interviewing a contestant following an alleged sexual assault by another contestant.
The video released comes from the 2017 season of Gran Hermano, and highlights an incident that involved House Guests Jose María Lopez and Carlota Prado. Producers called Prado into the diary room after it had come to their attention Lopez allegedly sexually assaulted her after a party that involved alcohol. According to Variety the video shows Prado being shown footage of the incident, and that she eventually requests the producers to turn off the footage. Prado is then told by producers not to speak of the incident to other House Guests, and then sends in a psychologist to speak to her.
Gran Hermano producers did remove Jose María Lopez from the house shortly after the incident, and Carlota Prado returned to the house a few days after the incident. Endemol Shine, which is the company behind the Big Brother format, released a formal statement regarding the new footage that featured the Diary Room incident.
We’d like to stress no footage was ever shot with the intention of being broadcast. However, with hindsight we regret that the conversation where Carlota was informed took place in the diary room environment. The footage was only supplied as evidence when requested by the authorities, encrypted and guarded. The decision not to inform the housemates of the incident, and why Carlota was asked not to mention the incident at the time, was taken by the production team in good faith at that point, in order to protect her privacy and because the incident was due to be reported to the police.
Endemol Shine added that Carlota Prado continued psychological treatment on the show, and decided not to press charges. Two years after the event, it's being reported (via El Confidencial) that Prado has had psychological and psychiatric treatment since being on Gran Hermano, and is on medication and unable to work. It is unknown if the case is still under investigation or if there are any legal proceedings happening.
As mentioned, Big Brother has had its fair share of controversies in the states, though this situation has shades of similarities to a recent situation on Survivor: Island of the Idols. Though the situations are different, the recent two-part episode did show how a real-life issue can blend with gameplay and interfere with producers judgement on how to proceed. It will be interesting to see how Gran Hermano continues to address this recent controversy, and what changes it may make going forward in regards to it.
Big Brother typically airs in the summer on CBS, though Julie Chen has been teasing something that could mean a much sooner return. Stick with CinemaBlend in the meantime for more updates on the reality series, and for a look at all major things happening in the world of television and movies.