The “pressure cooker” is back – but several Big Brother Fans don’t think the competition was particularly fair towards deaf houseguests Matt Klotz.
At the end of the Friday 25th August episode host Julie Chen Moonves informed the Season 25 contestants that they would be competing for HOH in a revised version of the Season 6 competition.
The 10 hour challenge was played in the live feeds streaming on Pluto TV. As per the rules, houseguests were tasked with finding who could hold down a button the longest while surrounded by various distractions. Participants could only stand or crouch as long as they held the button. Shortly after the start Big Brother turned off the light.
“I can’t see or hear right now,” Matt, 27, was heard saying during the competition, according to clips shared via social media.
Fans immediately took to online platforms claiming that CBS failed to accommodate Matt, who holds a world record in swimming for deaf athletes, by opting to play the game in the dark.
“It’s so cruel because he’s missing out on much-needed conversations that all other house guests can have,” said a social media user on Friday tick tock while looking at the feeds. “A deaf person in the dark, um?”
Other TikTok users complained that it was unfair that CBS had “taken away” one of his senses, making him unable to read lips without a light.
“As someone with two deaf parents and one big bb Fan – I’m so disappointed with the lack of accessibility he’s had this season,” commented another fan.
CBS has yet to address fans’ concerns — the challenge is scheduled to end on Sunday, Aug. 27’s episode — but accommodated Matt before the lights went out.
At the beginning of the challenge, alum Kaysar Ridha appeared via video to deliver further instructions to houseguests. After Kaysar, 43, finished his speech, Big Brother played a subtitled version of his speech to Matt.
Matt is Big Brotheris the first deaf contestant, sparking outrage from fans earlier this month after being charged with entering an audio-centric veto contest. Us weekly subsequently confirmed that a hearing-impaired playtester performed pre-runs of all games to ensure Matt could play.
“We have an incredibly complex system here that requires a lot of audio and a lot of people behind the scenes talking to people in the house, in the journal room and in the garden.” Big Brother executive producer Allison Grodner told Weekly entertainment Beginning of August. “And so we had to figure out how we were going to do that with Matt.”
She added: “We had our show doctor put in touch with their specific audiologist because everyone hears differently. So we needed to know exactly what levels he could function at and what would be best for him. It turned out that some of the lower baritone voices were easier for him to hear.”
Big Brother airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS.