23 June 2007

Big Brother program offends Mexicans

Few programs in Mexico have been as loathsome as Big Brother, which drew enormous audiences and even convinced a Green Party (PVEM) politician to skip work for six weeks so he could participate in the Mexican version of the reality show.

Now the Australian edition ran afoul of Mexican sensibilities during a poorly-planned Mexican theme episode, during which contestants "dressed in mariachi outfits played musical chairs and ate chili con carne - a dish almost unknown in Mexico - to win points," according to ABC Australia. Even worse "One of the rounds of the game showed a team protecting the Mexican flag against slime balloons thrown by a rival team."

Since Mexicans take their national symbols seriously, this obviously was bound to offend. But Mexicans also indulge stereotypes of other races and nationalities - some offensive, others not - with disturbing regularity.

The Big Brother crew could have at least served a taco buffet instead of chili con carne and perhaps thrown in some sort of tequila drinking game. (The Consejo Regulador de Tequila loves pretty much any foreign publicity.) But throwing slime at a flag?

Hopefully this stupid stunt hastens the demise of all versions of Big Brother.

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