Big Brother has never been a credited reality show with great diversity. Away from it. But the second season of the celebrity version has shown what can happen when the guests of the house represent a larger cross section of America.
After Tom Green's evacuation of Friday night, Celebrity Big Brother is guaranteed to be a woman or former NFL star Ricky Williams, an African American.
Green joins Jonathan Bennett, Ryan Lochte, Joey Lawrence, Kato Kaelin at the jury.
(Anthony Scaramucci was never technically cast.)
Natalie Eva Marie was also the victim of the double elimination.
This leaves Williams, Kandi Burrs, Tamar Braxton, Lolo Jones and Dina Lohan competing for the win.
Three African Americans (one male, two females), one biracial woman and one white woman.
This is significant – some would say historical – considering the history of the show.
Since 2000, 13 of the 20 winners have been men.
Of these, all but one were white.
Josh Martinez of the 19 season was the first Hispanic American winner in the history of the series.
For women, Jun Song from season 4 and Kaycee Clark from season 20 are Asian Americans.
There has never been an African American winner.
About 250 guests in the history of the show, about 30 were black people.
Visually, it is not difficult to confirm what is happening in the casting process:
There are more seasons, but you have the idea.
When people think of Big Brother and race, many thoughts turn to BB15, which was notoriously known for the large number of racist, homophobic, and other problematic comments made by its competitors.
But the reality is that every season seems racially inclined when there is a clear lack of diversity.
It does not help black guests who typically fall into the archetypes of the "angry black man / woman" of the "intense black man / woman" or one of the most popular shows – "the religious outcast".
In season 20, the latest summers show that only two of the 16 guests were African-Americans.
So why is this lack of diversity still happening?
The former CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller was questioned about this in 2016.
He refused to mention any casting problems, pointing out instead that Big Brother is just a "social experiment".
But it is difficult to have much of an "experiment" if most of the faces are young and white.
"They are more interested in keeping their main audience than building a larger audience," said Marvin Latimer of season 5 at JimHeath.TV. "And with the way TV is now fragmented with choices like Netflix, Amazon, DVD On Demand, the competition is triple compared to when I was on the show."
So keeping the mainly white cast is a cash formula that has worked for 19 years. And if you're making a little money on the net, do not expect much change.
The same formula used almost twenty years ago is the same one used today: a cast of 16: 14 white, 8 men 6 women and all in their 20s with one or two exceptions.
(It is not just the race that discusses, but also the discrimination based on age).
If Big Brother continues after the era of Les Moonves and Julie Chen, we hope the casting group will learn what Celebrity Big Brother 2 taught us:
Put a different cast at home and you can really expect the unexpected.