Today I heard the news that Josh – a popular Big Brother housemate – has withdrawn himself from the competition due to the death of his brother. I was pretty saddened by this news, as I watch Big Brother every now and then and you get to feel like you know the housemates personally.
Keeping in mind that a lot of Australia must also feel this way, I wondered how The Southern Star production team and the Nine Network were handling this sudden, very delicate matter.
After a quick look through online news channels, social media and the Big Brother web site, I came to the conclusion that the company must have been well prepared for crisis as the situation is being handled very well in a timely manner. We have information that the brother died, and how old he was – really the most crucial news people want to know – the rest is details that would be insensitive to reveal at this time. The company is coming across very caring and sensitive, with statements including:
The Southern Star production team and the Nine Network wish to express their sympathy to the family and ask the fans of Big Brother and the media to allow them privacy at this time.
Their Twitter is also being handled successfully, with each tweet of support being responded to with thanks, or informing fans where they can e-mail their support (which I assume will be forwarded to Josh at some point.)
They have suspended all live updates from the house and have stated that; “Further announcements about the Big Brother shows will come later today”
The big question is: where from here? If they air the show tonight, there is a good chance it will receive more viewings than it has all season. However, is it too unethical to show Australia a house of people saddened and grieving for their friend?
In my opinion, they’ve known all day – enough time to put together a “best of” of the season so far. With the show beginning with a brief explanation and expression of sympathy from the host (admittedly probably easier said than done!)
However, so far I think this is a case of a sad and delicate crisis being dealt with very well.
As for the show tonight? I guess we’ll see when 7 o’clock comes around.