Big Brother 19 viewers have the whole story (at least the story that CBS wanted to show) about how Megan Lowder left the house. While Megan has given her side of the story after she left the house (as was previously reported) the third episode of Big Brother 19 detailed the events from a mostly objective stance.
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Megan was confronted about telling Alex that Jessica had called her “Panda.” (In reality Jessica had called Alex “Pao Pao,” a nickname of a former houseguest.) Alex and Jessica both went after Megan asking for the truth and got nothing. This was the third time that Megan had been ganged up on in so many days, and she decided to exit the Big Brother 19 house. It was a shocking moment and not just because it was the first time a contestant has ever quit the game. It’s just that the argument surrounding Megan’s departure seems so mundane by Big Brother standards.
Wrong Place and Wrong Time
The animosity directed towards Megan was terrible and for the most part it seemed baseless. Cody and Josh had such intense and personal dislike for Megan and Big Brother 19 never explained it in the broadcast episodes. Cody and Josh’s apparent hatred for Megan might have gone unexplained but it wasn’t unusual. People are constantly called out for things in front of the house. When Josh yelled at Megan it got nasty but it wasn’t a particularly intense fight. Josh is all over the place emotionally but he never crossed a line with Megan. The two weren’t even facing each other for most of their yelling match. The same thing goes for Cody nominating Megan because he just doesn’t like her very much. It’s petty and mean but Big Brother contestants have said and done way worse to each other.
The event that sparked Megan’s quitting is a bit trickier. While Jessica and Alex confronting Megan about spreading the “Panda” comment was full of rage it was typical Big Brother fare. It’s not the first time that Big Brother contestants have been accused of racist behavior and responded in an unfavorable manner.
It’s true that no one made the situation better. Jessica could have diffused things by admitting she called Alex “Pao Pao” not “Panda.” (Though it is arguable that saying one Asian contestant looks like another Asian houseguest is mildly racist in itself.) Megan, too, completely shut down when confronted. She stuck to what she heard and made no effort to admit she might have been wrong. Alex was (understandably) confused, angry and not backing down in any way.
Still, none of this was particularly outrageous. Unlike the Josh and Cody situation, Megan put herself in that argument by telling Alex about the “Panda” comment. She should have known there’d be blow back. While Megan probably didn’t expect for Alex to come after her, she surely should have thought that Jessica would hear something and confront her. Nothing stays buried in the Big Brother house for long. This isn’t a condemnation of Megan though. The onus on Megan’s self-eviction doesn’t fall on the other contestants or Megan but on the producers of Big Brother 19.
Big Brother Blame
We now know that the negativity from Josh and Cody sparked some ugly memories for Megan. She felt threatened by both of the large men who disliked her and it drudged up some terrible and violent incidents from her past. Cody and Josh triggered Megan’s issues with PTSD and the Alex/Jessica argument was the last straw for her mentally. If Megan truly felt her mental health was in danger while in the game she was absolutely justified in self-evicting. While other contestants have been in similar situations and stuck it out to their inevitable eviction, there are mitigating factors here. Megan’s mental health isn’t worth a game show.
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Big Brother should have been aware that Megan had issues with PTSD before she entered the house though. Megan should have never made it past the casting process. Thankfully things didn’t get too serious. Megan appears to be doing well now and no one, especially Megan, got hurt. Yet Big Brother shouldn’t flirt with that line at all. There needs to be a more thorough check of people’s backgrounds and history. Someone who suffers (or has suffered) from PTSD has no business being in the Big Brother house. The game is all about adults confronting each other and fighting with one another like children. It’s the last place someone who has problems with confrontation should enter for a summer. Megan was entirely within her rights to quit Big Brother but she should have never been in the house to start.
But what do you think? Did Josh and Cody cross a line with Megan? Was the “Panda” argument too intense and unnecessary? Should someone with PTSD be on Big Brother? Is it Megan or the producers’ fault she was in the game?
Big Brother 19 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c, Thursdays at 9/8c and Sundays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of CBS)