You know it's officially summer when Big Brother is back!
Sixteen new houseguests moved into the "Big Brother Beach House" for the live 90-minute Season 23 premiere Wednesday night. While host Julie Chen-Moonves introduced some unexpected twists – like the fact that this season's houseguests will be competing in teams of four and, for the first time in 21 years, the grand prize has increased to $750,000 – the biggest, and most exciting, change this season was Big Brother's most diverse cast yet.
It's no secret that Big Brother is notorious for having many controversies regarding race. In November of 2020, CBS publicly vowed to make 50 percent of its future reality show contestants people of color, and fans were happy to see the network stick to its word.
An official look at the 50% BIPOC rule in action! Congratulations #BB23 fans & Thank You @CBSpic.twitter.com/IN2w77NxRS
— Survivor Diversity Campaign (@SurvDiversity) July 1, 2021
Look at this diversity in the house #BB23pic.twitter.com/3WkxLFWCcb
— NLuvWFashion (@NLuVWFashion) July 8, 2021
The diversity in the #BB23 house literally brings so much joy to my heart!!!
Now, THIS IS AMERICA in its best image!! pic.twitter.com/kPTGQkHfEY
— just Greg ~ ✊🏽🖤 (@Badboygg91) July 8, 2021
Just finished the first episode of Big Brother and I love it! I love the diversity of the cast! #BB23
— Alice (@ArmoAlice) July 8, 2021
Finally the changes in casting and set up to the game that have been so desperately needed. Equally paired teams was genius. And so diverse. It feels like a fresh game again! #BB23
— Dan R. (@dsrbroadway) July 8, 2021
Finally a decent diverse cast this season!!! @CBSBigBrother#BB23
— Ash (@ladynblu_8) July 8, 2021
There’s a lot more LGBTQ+ representation than I initially realized!#BB23
— Mel ✊🏽 (@melbrown00) July 8, 2021
This is the best casting in a long time. The diversity, their intelligence, their uniqueness makes me so happy. #bb23
— Carol Journey (@CarolJourney) July 8, 2021
Ahead of the premiere Wednesday, Chen-Moonves stated that she was "excited" about this season's diversity in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "In summers past, we've seen some people who are used to their bubble, where their world outside of the Big Brother house is not very diverse, and then they behave in a way that is unacceptable. So hopefully with this diverse cast, those who are, quote-unquote, minorities, are going to be able to have deep conversations and school people who maybe come from a neighborhood or an area where there's not a lot of diversity," said Chen-Moonves.
One houseguest who became an immediate fan-favorite Wednesday night was Azah Awasum, a tech employee from Maryland. Awasum is a first-generation American, whose family came from Africa, and whose grandfather is Parliament to the King. In total, eight of the contestants are POC, and three of the contestants represent the LGBTQ+ community.
Overall, viewers were very satisfied with the first episode of BB23, and we are all looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season plays out.
Big Brother airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
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