Entertainment News

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.

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!

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.