Big Brother Advertisers Vacate Spanish Series After Alleged Rape Scandal Resurfaces

Carlota Prado Big Brother CBS

Big Brother is a series that follows contestants almost non-stop, which often makes it a hotbed for controversy. Such was the case in Big Brother Season 21, and even the international circuit has had its fair share of problems in the past. One of those past situations has recently come back to face the Spanish spinoff Gran Hermano, as the show's resurfaced handling of a rape allegation has encouraged advertisers to pull out.

As of writing, at least 20 advertisers have announced they have pulled advertising from Gran Hermano. Nestle, Nissan and others have announced they've pulled advertising from the show, which broadcasts on Telecinco. The big change is a product of a social media campaign that urged advertisers not to support the Big Brother series.

The incident, which included contestants Carlota Prado and Jose Maria Lopez Perez, happened back in 2017 but resurfaced when footage was released of producers showing Prado the alleged rape in the confessional room. Prado was unconscious at the time of the event, so was unaware anything had occurred to that point. Producers say the footage was never meant to air, though the question of why the situation was filmed in a confessional setting has left some room for debate.

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The incident is currently being reviewed by the courts, and it remains to be seen what punishment will be handed down for any parties involved. The Local reported the investigation comes in light of many other rape cases in Spain, which has led for movements that ask the country's laws for sex crimes to be tightened. Mediaset Espana, owner of Telecinco, has said it has become the victim of a campaign intended to "discredit" it in the face of competitors.

Endemol Shine, which owns the production company that runs Gran Hermano, has admitted it regrets the way the situation was handled. Carlota Prado was escorted to a room, where she was shown footage that allegedly showed Jose Maria Lopez Perez sexually assaulting her following an on-set party that involved alcohol. Prado asked for the footage to be shut off, but was told by a narrator there was more to watch. Prado was later given time with a therapist and Perez was removed from the house.

It's a stern reminder for other networks that home reality shows stateside, such as CBS. The network recently had a high profile Survivor controversy that resulted in the first expulsion of a contestant. Big Brother Season 21 also had its fair share of controversies, and it will be interesting to see how it will respond to any in Season 22 given the microscope an international spinoff is currently under.

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Big Brother is expected to return to CBS in 2020. CinemaBlend is the place to be for all Big Brother updates, so be sure to stick with us for more on that and the latest news happening in movies or television.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.