Julie Chen Moonves silences ‘Big Brother’ haters: ‘In my humble opinion,’ the Cookout ‘is not’ racist

From the moment the Cookout, “Big Brother’s” first-ever all-Black alliance, was created on Season 23, some viewers have taken to social media to call it racist. Well, Julie Chen Moonves strongly disagrees with that sentiment. The reality TV show’s longtime host recently told Entertainment Weekly, “I think it’s hard for some people who are not of color to understand the importance of the Cookout making it this far. I have heard some call the formation of the Cookout a form of racism. In my humble opinion, it is not.”

To recap, a Black person has never won “Big Brother” despite it being on the air for two decades now. Knowing this, Tiffany Mitchell, Xavier Prather, Azah Awasum, Kyland Young, Hannah Chaddha and Derek Frazier made an agreement at the start of the summer to stick together to ensure history was made this season. Sure, there were hiccups along the way (remember Tiffany and Derek’s sassy fight in the pantry?) but their collective loyalty has proven to be stronger than any individual disagreement. And Julie likes what she sees. “As a fan of the show, it’s impressive to see an alliance this big make it this far,” she noted. “That rarely happens.”

SEE ‘Big Brother’ winners list: All 22 seasons, plus spin-offs

Tiffany’s “master plan” to keep the Cookout a secret was for each member to have a side alliance with someone else in the house, so if that duo was ever nominated together, the Cookout would have the numbers to save their own. Tiffany had Claire Rehfuss, Xavier had Alyssa Lopez, Kyland had Sarah Beth Steagall, Hannah had Derek Xiao and Azah had Britini D’Angelo (Derek F. didn’t need anyone). This plus-one strategy worked perfectly, with nobody suspecting all of the Black people were working together until later in the game when it was too late to do anything about it.

The sextet also agreed not to spill the beans during their goodbye messages to evicted houseguests, though Kyland hinted at a secret alliance to both Derek X. and Britini. A recent visit to the jury house showed the two putting the pieces together, which is the closest anyone has come to figuring out the Cookout’s true purpose. Derek X. even called the plan “genius.”

Julie previously commented on CBS’s new 50% diversity mandate, which allowed for more people of color to enter the game than ever before. “Oh, I’m excited about it,” she told 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 final eight houseguests are about to enter a fast-paced two weeks of competition, with double evictions scheduled for September 9 and September 16. The six Cookout members are still joined by Claire and Alyssa, with their apparent plan being to kick them both out this Thursday night. That would leave only Tiffany, Xavier, Azah, Kyland, Hannah and Derek F. in the game, ensuring a historic finale on September 29.

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