By Oldine Joseph
A local realtor is getting some heat for allegedly making racist and homophobic remarks about her fellow houseguests on a reality show’s live Internet stream, the Delray Beach Tribune has learned.
The recording of Amanda Zuckerman, 28, a contestant on the 15th season of CBS’ “Big Brother,” is the latest in a string of offensive comments, by contestants who are having their every move caught on camera for a chance to win $250,000, various other prizes, and at least 15 minutes of reality show fame.
In another incident on June 27, houseguest Kaitlin Barnaby was recorded telling Zuckerman, “I just said the n-word!” to which Zuckerman callously replied, “So what?”
Infuriated viewers loaded videos of both clips and a series of other scenes on Youtube and they have since spread like wildfire on social media sites as well as fan forums.
Zuckerman could not be reached for comment as the contestants have been stripped of their cell phones and have no contact with the outside world.
Zuckerman’s mother and business partner, Marilyn Zuckerman, declined an interview with the Delray Beach Tribune on Wednesday.
“I think we’re going to let her come home and conduct her own interviews,” said Marilyn Zuckerman, a resident of Boca Raton.
She however sent a text message to the Palm Beach Post defending her daughter.
“We did not see the comment.” She wrote, according to the newspaper. “Amanda has been in the theater arts her whole life. Her roommate in NY was gay. She embraces the gay community and has many gay friends. I’m sure the “comment” was made with affection and definitely not malice. It’s unfortunate that the blogs and media sometimes seems (sic) to blow things out of proportion.”
On a recent installment of the show, CBS responded to criticism by playing for viewers a three-minute montage of previously un-aired discussions.
The network also issued a statement shortly after saying that “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 “House Guests” reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by several of the “House Guests” on the live Internet feed to be offensive. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a “House Guest” appearing on Big Brother, either on any live feed from the house or during 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.”
Before arriving into the “Big Brother” house Zuckerman said in an interview with the Big Brother Network that she is often a “little too honest and inappropriate.”
The show has been mired in controversy since it began on June 25 after live-feed viewers, who pay for an around-the-clock three-month subscription from the network, revealed numerous “House Guests” including Zuckerman making discriminatory and sexist comments.
Similar quips have let to the firing of two contestants from their jobs, which they have no idea of.
The “Big Brother” house itself is equipped with dozens of cameras and microphones recording and tracking the “House Guests” as they interact and play the game.
The show, prompted by angered fans has since revealed a small portion of the comments made by some – not all – contestants in its recent primetime broadcast.
Contact this reporter at Oldine@Delraybeachtribune.com.