If you watch CBS’ summer reality guilty pleasure Big Brother, you know it’s not the best place for Black people, let alone Black women. They’re generally the first houseguests evicted and are often painted with the “difficult” label. Of course, I could say that about almost any reality show.
Season 24 has been particularly troubling, as contestant Taylor Hale has spent her entire time in the house enduring microaggressions, bullying, name calling and outright racism. Now, after surviving nearly three months of emotional upheaval, she’s made it to the finals of Big Brother.
Per Screen Rant, earlier in the season, after Nicole Layog and Paloma Aguilar had called Taylor a “bad person” and painted her as the bully, Nicole used a misunderstanding during a competition to send Daniel Durston after Taylor. When Taylor tried to console a stressed-out, crying Nicole, telling her not to worry about their partnership and just take care of herself, Nicole took that as Taylor trying to get her to quit. She relayed the situation to Daniel, who decided he needed to save these fragile women from the terrible Black woman harassing them and openly accused Taylor of being the reason Paloma left the game (she self-evicted for mental health reasons).
Daniel then went on to humiliate Taylor in front of the whole house, yelling, “The thing you did to Paloma? You’re trying to do to her? You can fuck right off. You don’t think America’s watching all that? Do not speak to Nicole like that ever again!”
It was completely unwarranted toxic male bullshit that she was the target of due to Nicole’s manipulations. And that was just one example of how rough her time in the house has been. It’s also worth noting that none of the Black men in the house have defended her or had her back. Just look at how Monte Taylor threw Daniel’s comments back in her face during a petty argument on Thursday’s episode. Listen, don’t get me started on how Monte has blown whichever way the wind goes from week to week. Taylor was always too good for him and I’m glad that “showmance” was short-lived.
When she declared she might have to bring back “cold Taylor” to win, I applauded. At this point, just do whatever it takes to get that money. Her grace and triumph in the face of constant, non-stop battles from every corner of the house have been spectacular to watch. Like most Black women in the world, she’s been an island taking care of herself. That’s why it’s so amazing that she’s survived and is ready to do a Beyonce “Lemonade” style march into the finals.
While the audience seems to be in her corner, the remaining challenges are largely physical which may give her a disadvantage against fellow finalists Monte and Matt Turner. However, if she can stay alive until the final two, I think she has a real chance at being the first Black woman to ever win Big Brother U.S.
That may not seem like an important achievement, but for Taylor to overcome all the bullshit she’s had to put up with this season and walk away with the $750,000 grand prize, it’s a major win for Black fans and especially Black women.