Big Brother is back and this season’s promise to be different from their past seasons’ notorious lack of diversity has lived up to their word, gaining recognition on Twitter.
Sixteen new house-guests moved into the “Big Brother Beach House” for the live 90-minute Season 23 premiere Wednesday (July 7) night. Host Julie Chen-Moonves introduced some unexpected twists like guests competing in teams of four and for the first time in 21 years, the grand prize has increased to $750,000. The biggest change of all was definitely having half the cast be people of color.
Per Yahoo! Entertainment, CBS publicly vowed to make 50 percent of its future reality show contestants people of color last November.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to the casting team this season for giving us the most promising cast I’ve ever seen. I know it’s early but these people are all so diverse and interesting and seem to truly love the show,” praised Big Brother’s first openly gay season 15 winner Andy Herren.
I just want to say a huge thank you to the casting team this season for giving us the most promising cast I’ve ever seen. I know it’s early but these people are all so diverse and interesting and seem to truly love the show. ♥️♥️ #BB23— Andy Herren (@AndyHerren) July 8, 2021
Hold on… did @CBSBigBrother get a new head of casting… because finally it’s a diverse cast! I don’t ever think I’ve seen this many people of color move in to the BB house at once! I’m here for it! #bigbrother23 #BB23 pic.twitter.com/zNUIKHVHSB— Karamo (@Karamo) July 8, 2021
A cast with race & sexual diversity. Night one feeds. A first HOH going after dude bros. Strong women getting together who want to work with women. Then the cherry on top, Turn it up <3 #BB23 pic.twitter.com/bM87XpoPvy— ~Kathy~ 🦫 (@gallymeroreboot) July 8, 2021
Really REALLY loving the fact that two of the POC on this season are mixed. It's rarely talked about and both Kyland and Hannah mentioned it in their intros. Hoping it gets talked about more during the season 🥰 #BB23— Teddy 🪐 (@oceancoasts) July 8, 2021
production actually listened to the fans for once and gave us a more diverse cast and for that im very thankful !! we’ve been wanting more LGBTQ+ & POC representation for what feels like years !! #BB23— ellie (@reddesertsap) July 8, 2021
Ahead of the premiere Wednesday, Chen-Moonves said 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,” the host said.
One house-guest who became a fan-favorite from the premiere episode 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. Her grandfather was a polygamist with 6 wives and 47 children — Awasum has over 300 cousins!
And this is our winner! Manifesting it. pic.twitter.com/Rze9qE0K1Z— 𝐙♡𝐌𝐁𝐈𝐄 ɘiꙅꙅɒƆ 𝐕𝐄𝐆𝐀 🇲🇽🇩🇴𝐵𝐿𝑀 8:46 (@NotJosieGrossy) July 1, 2021
In total, eight of the contestants are POC, and three of the contestants represent the LGBTQ+ community. Big Brother airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.