Dozens of companies have proclaimed they will no longer be a part of advertising on the Spanish version of Big Brother after it is discovered that a contestant had been shown footage of her alleged molestation act.
Carlota Prado was called up to the diary room to watch a video of how a fellow contestant apparently got physical with her when she was intoxicated after drinking.
“Please, Super, stop now, please,” a tearful Ms. Prado asked. But the tape continued to play, with the Voice saying: “We think you need to see this, Carlota.” The scene was never aired but was leaked to the Spanish press this week.
Until being entered the diary room, Ms. Prado had no idea of what had happened the previous night in her bed after she had been helped to lie down by José María López, her fellow contestant with whom she had started a relationship within the house.
According to footage, she said, “no, I can’t” to Mr. López. But he then got into bed with the likely Ms. Prado and allegedly got physical with her for several minutes before the show’s announcer team spoke over the bedroom speaker to interrupt him.
After the diary revelation of Ms Prado was revealed, a series of advertisers had pulled their contracts for Big Brother. Large companies, including Telefónica and Ferrero Rocher, joined a list of more than 40 brands that have announced they are ending their connection with the reality show broadcast by the Telecinco station since 2000.
Endemol Shine Group, the company that reserves the rights to the Big Brother format, clarified that the decision to inform Ms. Prado of the alleged physical assault without the presence of a psychologist or any other person present was a mistake:
“With hindsight, we regret that the conversation where Carlota was informed took place in the diary room environment,” the company said, adding that Mr. López was expelled from the show and that Ms. Prado was given psychological support after the diary room experience.
Ms. Prado spent several days in a hotel before returning to the show. Representatives of Zeppelin, the Spanish production company that makes Gran Hermano, reported Mr. López to the police and Ms. Prado later added her own complaint.
An investigative judge recently concluded that there were measures to put Mr. López on trial for alleged abuse, although his lawyer has said his client denies the charge.