Could It Be? ‘Big Brother’ Contestant Says She Was Eliminated Because She’s Old and Black

July 16, 2012  |  

I think I’m more shocked by the fact that “Big Brother” is still on TV than I am any claims of racism, although contestant Jodi Rollins says that’s not what she’s suggesting, exactly. Season 14 of the CBS show debuted last week and during that episode she simultaneously became the first cast member to be eliminated. In the customary follow-up interviews, Jodi gave her thoughts on why she was the first to get the boot and in a double whammy she pulled both the race and the age card when it came to explaining her elimination.

“I have a theory as to why I’m not in the house … older people never win this game and black women never win this game and I’m an older black woman.

“I’m not saying anybody’s racist at all. When it comes to money, you have to make a decision based on what you think people will do. If you’re looking at who’s going to win the game, I’m not who you’d want. In this case, I think [Dan] didn’t choose me for those reasons”

Could be. Everyone comes into that house with their own prejudices and assumptions about what someone can or can’t do, but one thing I’ve noticed (like since desegregation) is that when it comes to a competition and trying to win, if people think you have what it takes, they don’t really care about your skin color or age, more often than not. It’s been a long time since I watched “Big Brother” so I can’t remember what the challenges were about but it’s not like we’re talking “Surivor.” This show always seemed like an older version of “The Real World” to me but with people fighting against each other rather than trying to live togeter as roomates. I don’t know how much of a disadvantage her age would have been or how much race factors into the equation honestly. By pointing out no other black woman ever made it to the top, Jodi does seem to be suggesting either every other cast had racist participants too or CBS has a discriminatory hand in things—both of which we know could be true—but I feel like if she’s going to bring up the race/age angle, she needs to follow through with it and not backtrack on the claim.

Perhaps Jodi just needs some time to let the disappointment settle in, though. On top of getting eliminated during the first show, for some reason she thought there was a chance she would be brought back later. Not exactly.

“I’m upset now, actually. Not happy,” Jodi said once the news finally sunk in. “They made it seem like there was still hope, so I just kind of found out that there wasn’t. So I’m kind of upset. [I thought] maybe there’d be a twist that I could go back in the house, so that doesn’t seem to be happening and I just found that out.”

We know she’s upset, but is she bitter toward Dan, the man who got her kicked off? She says no.

“No, I’m not bitter at all towards him. I’m disappointed. He made the wrong decision, but no, not bitter to him at all, but I knew he didn’t believe in me from the get-go. I was last chosen, so… that didn’t feel good either.”

What do you think about Jodi’s claim? Do you think she was booted because she’s an older black woman?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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