Julie Chen Moonves is not only speaking out about what’s to come on Big Brother this season, but she’s also reacting to the treatment of houseguest Taylor Hale, which has caused quite an uproar on social media.
The longtime host, 52, addresses fans who feel the personal stylist is being unfairly targeted by her fellow competitors.
“I am not obsessed with the live feeds, so I haven’t seen every single thing that people are talking about,” she exclusively tells Us. “I can say that if you were to talk to Taylor, I’m not so sure she would feel what everyone is saying, because a lot of things have happened behind her back, which is classic Big Brother.”
Julie touches on microaggressions inside the house, which have prompted former houseguests and members of Big Brother 23’s Cookout alliance to speak out in support of Taylor.
“I will say that microaggressions are real and they happen every day,” the CBS personality says. “When they happen, typically the person who is the offender, a lot of times that is not their intention. I will say the Big Brother house is no different. When you’re put in this house and everyone is your competitor and you see people as a threat, sometimes in playing the game, people will play it so hard and start launching a campaign of, you know, ‘let me trash talk someone behind his or her back.’”
Julie compares the house to high school and “not in a good way” with the “petty jealousies and the game,” adding, “Who is anyone to judge anyone else? We are not in a position to judge. We haven’t walked in that person’s shoes. We have never been in the Big Brother house competing. And I think at the end of the day, we are all flawed. We all need to practice forgiveness and compassion and mercy and grace.”
As far as the live eviction on Thursday, July 14, Julie can’t reveal whether the rumors of Paloma Aguilar leaving the game are true, but says they will be addressed in the episode.
More details on this summer’s twist will also be introduced. “We are going to reveal more angles of the ‘Backstage Boss’ twist on tonight’s show and we have a new twist coming for the houseguests next week,” she explains. “[The houseguests] will have been with each other for a couple of weeks 24/7 and you get to know people. The house guests will have to have “Big Brother bestie.”
Julie adds, “We will have a live competition that is only part one of a multipart competition that will determine power in the house and that’ll play out in the Sunday night show.”
Big Brother 24 airs on CBS Wednesdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays live at 9 p.m.
Watch our interview with Julie Chen Moonves above or scroll down to read.
Us Weekly: Hi Julie. So the feeds have been down. What can you tell us at this hour about what’s going on in the house? There’s been some rumors …
Julie Chen Moonves: I cannot address the rumors that are floating around here, however, those rumors will be addressed on tonight’s live eviction show. I said it to you when we first talked before, we even launched the season that our first live eviction night would be like no other live eviction night in the history of the game. And boy, is that true? It is going to be a show that is constantly … as I’m talking to you right now, I’m getting texts from Big Brother saying, “OK, the script we sent you late last night is completely changing.” I don’t even know what to expect right now. I can’t wait to get into the office. So yeah, questions will be answered on tonight’s live eviction show.
Us: Is there still a live eviction happening or we don’t even know?
JCM: I cannot address that right now.
Us: What can you say about the twist and how that’s going to affect things?
JCM: We are going to reveal more angles of the “Backstage Boss” twist on tonight’s show and we have a new twist coming for the houseguests next week. All I can say is [that] the houseguests will have been with each other for a couple of weeks 24/7, and you get to know people. The houseguests will have to have “Big Brother bestie.”
Us: Will there be another competition, like, a Sunday night competition?
JCM: Oh yes. That is going to happen. Tonight, we will have a live competition that is only part one of a multipart competition that will determine power in the house and that’ll play out in the Sunday night show.
Us: I have to ask because there’s been some uproar on social media, rightfully so, about how Taylor’s being treated in the house. There’s also been an outpouring of support for her from former houseguests – the Cookout alliance spoke out about it too. What have you seen and what do you think about how Taylor is being treated?
JCM: I am not obsessed with the live feeds, so I haven’t seen every single thing that people are talking about. I can say that if you were to talk to Taylor, I’m not so sure she would feel what everyone is saying, because a lot of things have happened behind her back, which is classic Big Brother. I will say that microaggressions are real and they happen every day. When they happen, typically the person who is the offender, a lot of times, that is not their intention. I will say the Big Brother house is no different. You know, when you’re put in this house and everyone is your competitor and you see people as a threat, sometimes in playing the game, people will play it so hard and start launching a campaign of, you know, “let me trash talk, someone behind his or her back.”
Big Brother, in many ways, is kind of like high school times 10,000, but not in a good way, you know, the petty jealousies and games and whatnot. But I would say that who is any of us, even if you watch every single second of live feeds, who is anyone to judge anyone else? We are not in a position to judge. We haven’t walked in that person’s shoes. We have never been in the Big Brother house competing. And I think at the end of the day, we are all flawed, and we all need to practice forgiveness and compassion and mercy and grace. And I do feel that when people come out of the house and they see and hear what they did in the house, if they can learn something from it and be humbled by it, then let’s lift each other. Let’s edify one another. Let’s lift each other up to be better.
Us: The houseguests go through sensitivity training. They learn about microaggressions before going into the house. Do you think there’s more nuance to it that should be taught and explained, with colorism, for example? Because it doesn’t seem like some people are aware of what they’re doing. How do we combat that?
JCM: That’s a great question. It’s one thing to be lectured on it. No one walks in life thinking that they’re offensive. We all think that we’re normal or that, you know, we’re good people. And then you get in the Big Brother house and a lot of things get thrown your way. It’s draining to be in there. It’s very hard. It’s challenging on every level, and you don’t have any privacy. You can’t just kind of tear off and just decompress and you don’t have your support system. So I think at the end of the day, the hope is you learn something from watching yourself. And I would say, don’t pay attention so much to what the chatter is on the internet. But, have some self-reflection after you’ve been in the house and see, you know, what do I like that I presented? Who do I wanna be when I show up in the world? And pivot and adapt from that.
Us: We’ve definitely seen examples of racism before and racially motivated comments in the Big Brother house. I know you’re not a producer, but at what point do you think production should maybe get involved? Is there anything that can be done to make sure she’s OK and she’s safe, and maybe not give a platform to some of the people who are causing this?
JCM: You know, again, I think Taylor, isn’t privy to a lot of the things, the way that people feel about her. It’s hard. You can’t get in there and tell someone not to be themselves. You can’t interfere with the game. You can remind them that you have to be compassionate as a human being. That has nothing to do with the game because whatever you give out, you can expect it to come back to you. You don’t wanna start telling people how to behave. You’re in there to watch this social experiment and to watch human nature unfold. I don’t think the person, [in this case] Taylor, who, a lot of people who are becoming fans of hers and trying to stick up for her, I don’t think she’s even aware of what’s happening. If you were to ask her, are you being mistreated by the other houseguests? I’m not so sure she would see eye to eye with what the chatter is on the internet.
Us: I do wanna ask about Paloma. She started this “girl’s girls” alliance, but she left Taylor out of it and then proceeded to say bad things about her, a little bit of which we saw in last night’s episode. Is that a girls’ girl?
JCM: That is a good point. What is a girls’ girl? I think a girls’ girl is hopefully someone who no matter what will stick up for another female just based on gender, right? Someone who is going to say, like, “Yep, I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I’m flawed.” Or, “I haven’t been there. I haven’t done that. I’m not gonna judge, but I’m going to have an open heart for you and be sympathetic just because it’s hard in a man’s world being a girl.” So that’s a very good point. You know, you can’t out of one side of your mouth say “I support all women” and then out of the other side, trash talk someone.
Us: Anything else you can tease before you go about the twist, the festival or what’s coming up?
JCM: I would say stay tuned for the festival I can’t wait for, which is the Zing Fest. Zing Bot needs his own festival. Just that we have more twists and turns that are going to unfold tonight, next week and just stay tuned.