Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Big Brother Germany wasn't going to tell cast about coronavirus pandemic. That didn't go over well

Illustration for article titled iBig Brother/i Germany wasnt going to tell cast about coronavirus pandemic. That didnt go over well
Photo: Monty Brinton (CBS)

People have been using apps like Tinder to outsmart China’s censorship and propaganda machines to get real information about the coronavirus outbreak—but apparently Wuhan isn’t as locked down as the Big Brother house in Germany.

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The majority of the housemates on the German reality series (based on the same reality competition that begat the Chenbot here in the United States) have been in isolation since Feb. 6, with four more contestants moved in on Mar. 6, three days before Germany reported the first death from the virus, reports The Guardian.

The brass at Sat.1 apparently originally told reporters they had enacted “special hygiene measures” to protect the 14 cast members but had no plans to inform them of the pandemic. But (first) they have now announced a live special episode airing Tuesday, during which they will inform the cast of the crisis and play them video messages from their relatives. How kind.

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The producers of the U.S. version of Big Brother has often made a game out of the fact that houseguests are cut off from the outside world, crafting competitions in which they must guess real headlines versus fake headlines. And the CBS All-Access version, Big Brother: Over the Top, went viral after producers informed the cast that Trump had beat Hillary in November 2016. The CBS version often informs houseguests about family member health issues and broke convention on Sept. 11, 2001, to share the tragic news of the day with the final three contestants, including one who had a family member missing in the aftermath.

At the very least, the German Big Brother houseguests are already self-quarantined. It seems like there wouldn’t be a better time to be on a reality show like Big Brother or it’s adorable little Netflix spawn, The Circle.

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.

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