“Betty does not represent Ethiopia!”

-  Big Brother Africa

A video that shows a sex scene caught on camera in the Big Brother Africa (BBA), The Chase house, one of the reality TV shows on DStv, has created outrage among Ethiopians.

This video depicts the Ethiopian participant, Betty, having sex with a Sierra Leone housemate, Bolt. The eight-minute video has gone viral, creating controversy and discussion on social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

Many ridiculed her calling her disgraceful names and saying that she should never come back.

Others have referred to it as pornography and prostitution.

Many of the comments on Facebook despise her act, saying that she does not represent Ethiopia and somehow have made it a national issue. Some of them even went so far as to create a page called 'No Vote for Betty', which has 3,720 likes, and 'Betty did not Represent Ethiopia on Big Brother Africa', which has 516 likes.
On these pages many post comments saying that the act is not the custom of Ethiopians, and what she did is a shameful act.

On the other hand, a few people say that there is hypocrisy among Ethiopians and it should not be a national issue. It should be  rather taken as a reality TV show and an individual act.

Some question the act by saying, ‘How does an individual act represent a country? Or how is it a national issue? If an Ethiopian kills a person, does that mean that all Ethiopians are murderers? Or if a man rapes a girl, does that mean that all men are rapists?’

“The ‘outrage’ from my fellow Ethiopians is really very amusing. I can’t say I agree with what Betty did, but to say she has “shamed” Ethiopia is absolutely laughable. Listen people, Betty is her own person, so what she does is her business (and perhaps her family’s as well), but it certainly isn’t mine, and her actions definitely do not reflect upon me. Ethiopia is a country of nearly 90 million and has a very large number of lingering problems with which we should be collectively ashamed – this is not one of them,” one of the comments read.

“However, I’m curious about one thing. Let’s say, hypothetically, it had been an Ethiopian man instead of a woman. Would there be this kind of anger? I doubt it,” the same commentator questions.

Concerning this, BBA said that the housemates do not represent their country or communities, rather they represent themselves.

“Please note that none of the housemates in Big Brother, The Chase, represent their countries and/or communities. They represent themselves in the game as individuals,” BBA wrote in an email sent to The Reporter.

BBA is the African version of the Big Brother reality game show, based in South Africa and transmitted on DStv. This year, season eight of the show, 28 contestants from 14 countries came to the house to live in isolation for 91 days in order to win a large sum of money.

“It is strongly communicated throughout the show, and has been throughout each of the eight seasons created to date, that BBA housemates represent themselves only, not their countries or communities. So their decisions, actions and opinions, whether positive or negative, are their own,” Big Brother Africa said.

BBA has controversially included sex scenes, nudity and alcohol. Transmitting live, some ask what the restrictions are. According to DStv, the only place that they don’t show is activities in the toilets, but there are also exceptions to that.

"The concept of the Big Brother reality series is to showcase individuals living relatively normally. All other areas of the Big Brother house are subject to surveillance, as this is part of the show’s format. As for the question of culture, that is a question with no answer. There is no single standard definition for the culture of a country or a continent.” Big Brother Africa said

Anyone who participates in BBA knows that there is 24/7 camera, and whatever choice they make is their own choice.

“It is important to understand that Big Brother is an entertainment show, and the choice to view it and to participate in it is an individual one. Furthermore, it is a show in which very human emotions and behaviors are displayed. Contestants have successes and failures, make good choices and make mistakes, are happy and sad, are sometimes quiet and are sometimes outspoken. They are, as we all are, human. Audiences may agree with their choices and may not, but these are their choices to make. That’s their right,” Big Brother Africa said.

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