The houseguests have some complicated conversations about racism.
Big Brother

Well, it's been quite the week in the Big Brother house. In a desperate move to save himself from being backdoored, Michael decided to finally tell HOH Turner, as well as the other houseguests, that during his HOH week Kyle approached him with the worry that there was a Cookout-type alliance in the house, that all the POC players could be secretly aligning. He then proposed that the white players could team up to make sure they were safe.

The thing is, Kyle doesn't seem to understand that he's done something wrong, that he made assumptions based on race and nothing else. First, he tells Brittany that he never even mentioned the Cookout by name in their conversations (he did) and then he tries to tell Monte and Terrance about his thought process, how everyone in the Cookout had a "why" for being in the game and how he thought he identified those same "whys" in the POC players still in the house. Again, he thought that all the POC players could be in alliance despite having no evidence that it was happening.

What he said was racist and hurtful and has no place in the game or in the real world, and he should absolutely be held accountable. I do hope he learns from it, but it's maddening that once again POC players have to take on the emotional toll of educating a white man on his bias. People are flawed and we should give them room to grow, but Kyle should be responsible for his own growth; it's not on Taylor, Monte, or Terrance to do that for him, to hold his hand when there's a whole world out there he could engage with and learn from.

BIG BROTHER Thursday, August 4, (8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network and live streaming on Paramount+. Pictured: Alyssa Snider and Kyle Capener. Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Highest quality screengrab available.
Alyssa and Kyle on 'Big Brother'
| Credit: CBS

Now, on the flip side, I personally think Michael and Brittany made a conscious choice to not talk about this, and them not sharing that information with their alliance members is pretty awful, and it's even worse that they chose to share that information in a way that was a clear strategic advantage for them.

If there's any silver lining here it's that the episode dedicates a ton of time to the houseguests having some complicated, important conversations (even though I wonder when the time will come that Big Brother doesn't have to have these conversations once per season). Monte and Terrance feel particularly betrayed by Kyle and his line of thinking. Monte considered Kyle a friend from Day 1, and he's truly hurt that his friend would wonder if he's working against him simply because of his race.

Monte and Kyle have a few good conversations trying to sort things out, trying to lead Kyle in the right direction rather than ridiculing him, and again, while that's nice and I like to think people can change and grow, it's frustrating that Monte, Taylor, and Terrance have to be put in the position of being graceful and understanding to someone who was willing to reduce them to their skin color. Like, Kyle is crying and I do believe he sees what he did was wrong and feels especially bad about hurting Monte, but those tears are nothing compared to the pain on Monte's face when he has to tearfully explain how Kyle's bias is just one of many instances throughout his life where assumptions have been made about him because of the color of his skin.

In other words, I'm a little uncomfortable with how this episode is edited together. I'd like to think Kyle can grow, the way I'd like to believe anyone can, but the episode does spend a lot of time focused on his apparent reckoning with his decisions rather than the way it affected Taylor, Monte, and Terrance. It's all a little icky, feeling a little too much like a redemption arc for Kyle rather than an actual confrontation with his actions.

We're probably not totally done with the aftermath of this. Kyle gets evicted from the house, as Brittany is pulled off the block, but that doesn't mean the air is clear. Terrance, Monte, and Taylor are absolutely holding a grudge against Michael and Brittany for the way they handled this information, and that could mean some changes in allegiances and targets as the game nears its end. The next HOH competition is underway, and things are about to get a little more cutthroat now that the final prize is in sight.

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Big Brother
Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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