On August 5, on the live-feed program of “Big Brother,” reality-show contestant Spencer Clawson touted the virtues of child pornography. Specifically, he joked that he likes to masturbate to child porn, especially when it involves kids who are “3 or 4 years old.” He was back on the broadcast show on August 11.
It would be wrong to say that CBS has no standards: last month it issued a statement regarding “Big Brother” that said it was “weighing carefully issues of broadcast standards.” It did not say what it would take to fire a contestant, just that it has standards. Those standards, we now know, were obviously not violated by Clawson.
It would also be wrong to conclude that “Big Brother” is a free-fire zone where anything goes. In fact, contestants have been fired before. What does it take? Try throwing furniture or throwing food [click here].
Last month, a female contestant made anti-black, anti-gay and anti-Asian comments. The host of the show, Julie Chen, who is Asian, went on TV the next day to register her objections: it was “the Asian ones [that] hit me the most.” She objected to comments about “squinty-eyed” Asians, and a quip about “go make a bowl of rice.” Stuff like that upsets Julie. Delighting in child porn apparently does not.
Fortunately for Clawson he didn’t throw a box of child porn films at someone.