Musings about who, if anyone, is at fault for Willie Hantz's meltdown and departure from the game.
If you’re a Big Brother fan, you have to be living in a cave to have missed the ‘big news’ that we’ve had a fight and Willie Hantz was ejected from the game. Now that Sunday’s show has aired, and we viewers have been allowed to see what limited coverage of the big event they have, we’ve got some idea of what happened. Of course we have to combine it with the multiple re-tellings of House Guests - something that has taken on the aroma of fish tales if you ask me because with each rehash of the big event it seems to get bigger and badder.
I’m calling foul on Big Brother Production. We all know that 24/7 feeds are a giant joke that this accountant with a degree in not just accounting but business administration (from a BIG TWELVE - at the time Big Eight - institution) where I took courses in Business Law and Commercial Law. I bring up my ‘creds’ because as far as I’m concerned calling them 24/7 Feeds is false advertising but trying to get that one changed isn’t going to happen as long as CBS continues to air the show.
I’m further calling foul on Big Brother Production for the apparent - at least for this viewer that attempted to go back to Flash Back - you know that nifty tool they gave us a few seasons back to see what happened at some point in the past. Despite multiple attempts and checks of what time the limited coverage of the big event aired on the feeds, I couldn’t find it. There seems to be a big, honking hole in Flashback where the big event occurred. Also arousing suspicion for me is the sudden (but not all that unexpected) removal of any video on sources such as YouTube. Yes you have ye olde copyright. But you know what - it screams cover up to me. What exactly is it that you, the producers of the show are afraid of getting out there.
I’m again crying foul on Big Brother Production for the edited version of events that even to non-feed viewers seemed choppy and questionable. Telling me that what aired on Sunday, July 22 is not the full story. But then feed viewers know this because the fish tales going around tell us more happened that what really did.
In the decade plus that I have watched Big Brother I have seen my fair share of fights in the Big Brother house. It isn’t anything new to have someone snap, lose it and go on a rampage, nor is it the first time a player has voluntarily or forcibly been removed from the game. We have Jason, aka knife guy, from season 2, removed for holding a knife to Krista’s throat. An incident that is why the house guests are not allowed to have sharp objects and must return said sharp objects to the storeroom or diary room toot sweet when they are allowed/used. We had the guy in season 4 who started throwing chairs and such in the backyard (and yes my brain has blacked out his name). We had Chima who went bat spit crazy and blatantly threw her microphone into the pool. And let us not forget last season’s early departure of E.D. Or the guy (again, name escapes me) who left the game before the first episode ever aired due to the twist that season of pairing the house guests via Match.com and his reluctance to be ‘outted’ in such a manner.
Then there are the fights. And I bring up fights for a reason. Jedi Janie’s original season was filled with them. The first of witch involved all house guests being separated and put into different rooms until production could deal with them and deal with a situation that nearly came to blows. But that was not the only fight-like incident that season. Please remember with me that Howie and Janelle went on a screaming rampage (I believe after the second eviction of Kaysar), terrorizing the Nerd Herd.
Why did I dredge this particular incident in Big Brother History Up? Because Production is not, at least in my eyes, the only people guilty in the big event. Yes, Willie Hantz is a grown man who needed to put his big boy shorts on and act like a grown up. However multiple players in the game seem to have pulled what I used to call during my days as a moderator (on this very board) a ‘bait and flame.’
First, let’s define the terms, baiting is exactly what it sounds like. You bait someone into reacting to a statement you make while knowing that if you keep at it long enough the subject of your bait is going to lose it. This leads us to the second term once the subject of the bait loses it, they lash out in a flame. The idea of the ‘bait and flame’ is for the subject after being induced by one or more parties to get into trouble.
What I saw on Sunday’s program and heard about on the feeds, to some degree, fits the bait and flame method. Possible guilty parties include Boogie, Frank, Joe and Janelle who took either verbal or physical actions before or during the big event to push Willie over the edge. Granted, Willie did seem to plan on his own demise, although why he went off when he did is beyond me. I would have understood doing this if he had waited through nominations, gone through the veto competition, seen the outcome of both the veto competition and the power of veto ceremony had someone other than Willie won POV. Instead Willie went out with his planned bang before nominations ever took place. Could it be that Willie, someone that I have seen referred to as a recruit onto the show rather than a player who auditioned) never had an intention of going further than a couple of weeks into the game? Or did he genuinely find himself trapped in a situation that he could no longer handle and lose it?
Frankly, as someone who suffers from clinical depression I can tell you that I once lost it at work. Actually said event is what led to my ultimate diagnosis so in the end my losing it was one of the best things to ever happen to me since it led to my getting help, a diagnosis and the appropriate medical care. If that is the case with Willie, let us hope he gets the help he needs.
For this viewer, the number of fights (and I include scream-fests in the fight category), departees for whatever reason and the number of former house guests who have landed in jail to be a disturbing trend that I believe needs to be addressed in the casting/recruiting process. House Guests need to be vetted for the potential of violence or meltdowns in a more in-depth manner. The safety of the other cast members needs to be kept in mind and quite frankly something should be done the moment someone begins to lose it rather than waiting to see what will happen in hopes for something you can turn into “good TV.” Sure, nobody got (seriously) hurt this time, but what about the next? And yes, CBS & Big Brother Production makes contestants sign contracts to assure they are under no obligation should said contestant get physically hurt - but at what point does the the line end between a signed contract and the welfare of a human being? And how much are we, as viewers, going to put up with? Keep in mind that Big Brother continues to air because it gets decent summer ratings for the network. Yes, I will keep viewing - for now. But if we encounter another such incident, I’m not sure I can continue condoning the behavior I see on my screens by continuing to be a viewer.