Big Brother's 15th season has been stirring up controversy in a big way after several houseguests were overheard using racial slurs on the live feeds, which were later aired on the network. CBS issued an apology and later aired a disclaimer prior to an episode. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told reporters today during the Summer Press Tour that though he found the behavior of the houseguests "absolutely appalling," he feels that the network handled it as well as expected.
"Big Brother obviously is a social experiment, it always was. It was established as a social experiment and clearly that's what's happening this year. I find some of the behavior absolutely appalling personally. What you see there unfortunately is a reflection of how certain people feel in America. Its what our show is," Moonves said. "I think we handled it properly. A lot of it makes us uncomfortable. I've watched every episode of the show, obviously my wife (Big Brother host Julie Chen) would kill me if I didn't. So I do know what's going on therel we do discuss it quite a bit. I think we are handling it quite appropriately. We did not comment on some of the racial things being said until it started affecting what was going on in the household. There was a lot of chatter about it on the Internet and I think we've handled it the way we should have."
And speaking of his wife Chen, the longtime host spoke out against the hateful behavior, saying she "took it personally." When asked what their conversations about the controversy have been like, Moonves said, "I'm not going to tell you what goes on in my house." Oh, snap!
Here are some other highlights from the CBS executive session:
Beverly Hills Cop Stopped: Moonves said the Eddie Murphy project didn't move forward simply because they had better stuff to put on the air. "We do a lot of pilots and the best go on the air and we felt that we had better choices than that pilot," he put bluntly.
Late Night Wars: "I consider [David] Letterman to be the best guy in late night. He's our guy and despite what people think, we don't like drama at 11:30," he said in response to the late night switches happening on other networks. "Dave is still making money for us. He still does the best show. We're very happy to have him."
Hawaii Five-O's Move: The drama series was pushed to Friday nights for the upcoming fall, a move some may take as a bad sign. "We didn't have a lot of space for new 10 o'clock dramas," Moonves said before insisting that the scheduling swap is not a "doom slot" for Hawaii Five-O.