Kalia Booker and Jeff Schroeder (right)

The CBS network in the US has come under fire for its response to the internet broadcast of anti-gay comments by one of its Big Brother housemates.

Jeff Schroeder, a three-time CBS reality show contestant, has previously made headlines for making homophobic statements.

This time, he’s been slammed for new comments suggesting that homosexuality is linked to paedophilia, made during an argument with fellow housemate Kalia Booker about Harry Potter.

The argument started after Booker correctly stated that author J.K. Rowling had conceived of the character of Dumbledore as gay, to which Schroeder replied “That would be perverted!”

Schroeder refused to accept that Dumbledore might be gay, insisting that it would be wrong to have a gay character in a children’s book.

“He’s in a school with little kids, you can’t make that guy gay!” he said, apparently shocked at the idea.

When Booker asked, “Why? Gay men can’t work with little kids?”, he replied “it isn’t right to have it in a little kids book, and have the headmaster locked away in this magical land, be gay. That isn’t the right kind of writing to do”.

He went on to add: “You are going to let your kids read a story book where little kids go to fantasy camp without their parents and the guy is gay?”

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) contacted CBS about the incident. The network replied that the argument was only shown in the live Internet feed and would not be included in the show’s televised broadcast.

“At times, the Houseguests make comments, reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone,” said CBS in a statement.

GLAAD, however, responded that the statement is simply not good enough, noting that the network continues to use the homophobic Schroeder in its shows.

In 2009, during Big Brother’s 11th season, Schroeder was caught on camera repeatedly calling housemates he was in fights with anti-gay slurs, including “homos” and the f-word.

CBS then made him a contestant on season 16 of The Amazing Race, and followed that by featuring him on the CBS web series Around the World for Free in 2010. Now Schroeder has returned for another chance to win Big Brother.

“Why does CBS keep bringing him back?” asked GLAAD. “Given his already proven track record, CBS must have expected that he would be bringing his openly anti-gay attitudes back with him.

“Is this the kind of drama they were hoping to see unfold? Is this the type of person they want associated with both the CBS and Big Brother brands?,” said GLAAD.

It urged CBS to demonstrate its stated commitment to LGBT representation on its shows by “never including Jeff Schroeder on another of their reality programs”.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend