Producers of the Israeli version of "Big Brother" decided to break one of the cardinal rules of the reality show, finally telling cast members — who had to take cover twice this week in their shared house bomb shelter after sirens signaled incoming rockets – about the security deterioration in Israel.
One of the key rules of the show is that cast members are isolated from their families, friends and any news outside the house. For weeks, viewers had complained on social media about the cast not being told of the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers last month, the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager, or the barrage of rockets from Gaza that have been plaguing southern Israel.
Here is video of the "Big Brother" contestants making their way to the bomb shelter in their TV studio house, which is located outside Jerusalem. The cast members at first appeared confused by the sirens, unsure if they were real or part of an elaborate producer-engineered challenge, a hallmark of the show (Editor's note: may open in new window):
“Following the security situation in Israel and following the siren that was heard in the area of the Big Brother house, an update was given to the residents of the house. The production is in close and direct contact with the families," the producers said in a statement on Facebook Wednesday night.
The new information would allow residents to decide whether they wanted to leave the set and be with their families during the stressful period.
Viewers were quick to post their reactions on Facebook, many of them criticizing the producers for not telling the cast sooner.
One commenter wrote, “There are people there with children, it was their right to know long ago.”
“Shame on you, you trash! Three children were murdered and you decided to stay silent, and the moment missiles reach you, you woke up,” another Israeli commenter wrote on the show’s Facebook page.
Another wrote, “It’s about time. Reality [program]? Connect the residents to reality.”
Producers with Israel’s Channel 2 appeared to use the dramatic news to promote the show, posting on its website Mako: “The full reaction of the residents to the event [the siren], and especially that of Einav Bublil, a resident of Ashkelon [in southern Israel, the target of multiple Palestinian rocket attacks], you can see tomorrow during the central broadcast on Channel 2.”