Big Brother is back — and this season promises to be different in big ways.
Sixteen new houseguests moved into the "Big Brother Beach House" for the live 90-minute Season 23 premiere Wednesday night. While host Julie Chen-Moonves introduced some unexpected twists — i.e., this season's houseguests will be competing in teams of four, and, for the first time in 21 years, the grand prize has increased to $750,000 — the biggest, and most exciting, change this season was Big Brother's most diverse cast yet.
Big Brother is notorious for controversies regarding race. In November 2020, CBS publicly vowed to make 50 percent of its future reality show contestants people of color, and fans were happy to see the network stick to its word.
Ahead of the premiere Wednesday, Chen-Moonves stated that she was "excited" about this season's diversity in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "In summers past, we've seen some people who are used to their bubble, where their world outside of the Big Brother house is not very diverse, and then they behave in a way that is unacceptable. So hopefully with this diverse cast, those who are, quote-unquote, minorities, are going to be able to have deep conversations and school people who maybe come from a neighborhood or an area where there's not a lot of diversity," said Chen-Moonves.
One houseguest who became an immediate fan-favorite Wednesday was Azah Awasum, a tech employee from Maryland. Awasum is a first-generation American, whose family came from Africa, and whose grandfather is parliament to the king. In total, eight of the contestants are POC, and three of the contestants represent the LGBTQ+ community.
Overall, viewers were very satisfied with the first episode of BB23, and we are all looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season plays out.
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