CBS denies 'Big Brother 4' houseguest Scott Weintraub was removed for STD instead of misbehavior
By Wade Paulsen, 07/24/2003
The St. Petersburg Times reports that, during last week's network press tour, CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves denied that Big Brother 4 houseguest Scott Weintraub was removed from the house (and the show) because of the fact that he had a previously-undisclosed sexually-transmitted disease, HPV (human papilloma virus, also known as genital warts). Instead, Moonves, like the show's producers, emphasized that Weintraub's temper tantrum was the reason for his removal.
Several of the houseguests seemed more upset over his STD disclosure than with his previous outburst, as Michelle began sobbing inconsolably and Alison began vomiting and frantically cleaning the bathroom toilet, apparently aware that HPV can be transmitted through non-sexual contact.
Moonves went on to note that "When we discover things about people, we take them out of the house." Of course, the producers discovered both that Scott had STD and that Scott was a hothead -- but Moonves didn't elaborate on which discovery was the crucial one. Then, in a bizarre conclusion, Moonves said that "Big Brother is a social experiment, and it's worked." Huh? Biosphere 2 was a social experiment. Even the BBC's Castaway 2000 could call itself a social experiment. But Big Brother 4? By contrast, it's a made-for-media event, driven by weekly ratings and plagued by poor background checks of contestants.
CBS's "social experiment" also had to answer questions about the unusual sex/barfing encounter between the now-evicted Amanda Craig and Dave Lane, which was partially captured on the live Web broadcasts before the cameras cut to pictures of the front of the house. Said Arnie Shapiro, executive producer of the show, who denied rumors that he considered airing a more explicit version of Amanda and Dave's hookup last week. "Whatever they did under the covers - and I didn't see it - it was a one-time only thing, and she left." Sure.
Perhaps, before CBS has another press conference to discuss Big Brother 4, they should consider hiring a new spokesperson. Someone with more credibility than the network has after this discussion. Someone like ... say ... Baghdad Bob?