Reality TV stars may be last in the world to know about pandemic

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 17 Mar 2020, 3:27PM
Contestants on the reality show have been in isolation. Photo / Getty Images
Contestants on the reality show have been in isolation. Photo / Getty Images

Reality TV stars may be last in the world to know about pandemic

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 17 Mar 2020, 3:27PM

It seems that the only people in the world who don't know about the coronavirus outbreak are 14 men and women in a house in Cologne, Germany.

The cast of Germany's Big Brother are competing in the country's 13th season of the reality show, and haven't been told about the outbreak, according to the Guardian.

Most of them have been in isolation since early February, when news first appeared of the outbreak in Wuhan. They've been cut off from further updates since then, apart from when the show brought on four more housemates on March 6 - three days before Germany reported its first virus death.

The show's producers defended their decision not to update the contestants about the crisis. They told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that they would only lift the information blackout in certain circumstances, such as the illness of a family member.

The producers also mentioned "special hygiene measures" taken to protect residents from infection, but didn't explain what those measures were.

But after outcry on social media, the channel Sat.1 announced a live episode would air in which the housemates would be told about the growing pandemic, with the opportunity to ask questions.

In 2001, producers on the American version of the show interrupted its second season to tell the last three contestants about 9/11.

Big Brother Germany isn't the only version of the show currently holding people in accidental quarantine - Brazil and Canada have left their contestants equally in the dark.

And contestants in the latest season of Big Brother Australia have been updated about the virus and its spread over the past few weeks.

A spokesperson told news.com.au that production on the show was continuing.

"We are working in line with current guidelines ... housemates have been brought across the current situation and we are in constant contact with the families to keep all involved up to date."