All Fun and Games: Bullying and assault in the Big Brother house

Update 3 Jun 08: Eye on Big Brother is now saying that the product squirted into Travis’s eye was not a body cleansing product as BB had claimed, but a shower mould remover, as we at Hoyden About Town suspected. Keep an eye on the comments at former housemate Tim Brunero’s place, “Oh Brother“, to see if there are any updates, or whether Timmy has succumbed to being a cog in the BB publicity machine. (I hope not; he always was one of my favourite housemates!) Shower mould products typically contain substances such as concentrated chlorine bleach.


Big Brother Australia [1] is being all hush hush about this “incident”, claiming the assault was an “accident” – but it sure wasn’t.

Travis is the chosen target of this year’s bully gang of young men, Nobbi, Rory, and Ben. Travis is skinny, effeminate, relentlessly cheerful, sexually inexperienced, and has a high voice – who better to tease mercilessly until he cracks or is seriously injured?

So, the gang Ben, Rory and Nobbi, high on homosociality and dominance, ganged up on Travis, who is already ill with shingles. They thought it would be hy-lar-i-ous to pull a “Poo Party Prank”, which consist of bursting in on someone trying to have a peaceful crap, and throwing body products over him.

This time, they chose shower gel*, and squirted it into Travis’ eye while he was sitting on the toilet. He screamed in pain while they and Terri and Bianca laughed and laughed.

Video is available of the assault here.


Travis tried repeatedly to irrigate the eye with tap water and a drinking glass, but he continued to experience severe pain. At this point one or two of the bullies began to look a little nervous. At no point did BB intervene or call him to the Diary Room to offer first aid or medical treatment.

* Edit: Looking at the video again, I’m wondering if the “shower gel” being referred to in forums was not, in fact, body wash, but a shower cleaning product. Ben is shown holding a squirt-gun type bottle in his hands immediately afterwards. What do you think?


Video is available of the aftermath here.


Later, at the Friday Night Games, Travis felt increasingly unwell, hunching over a bucket. He disappeared at some point during the games, though BB kept silent about it. Now, Big Brother Australia has finally announced that he was hospitalised for treatment after an incident in which “Travis was accidently[sic] squirted in the eye with Shower Gel by Ben”.

So we’ve seen yet another [2] Big Brother Australia assault and battery, this time with a side serve of possible grievous bodily harm. And… nothing but silence and lies from Ten so far.

What do you think? How should reality television deal with on-air crime?

[1] Note: comments about how only eejits watch Big Brother will be deleted, because I’m sick of ’em. Comment on the substance, or move on. Ta.

[2] Sexual assault trigger warning

Via The Diary Room.

Categories: media, violence

Tags: , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Annnnd the double standard rears its ugly head. Renee and Bianca were just given strikes by Big Brother for arguing with each other and “making threats of physical violence”. This is Renee’s second strike – one more and she’s out.
    Yet when men assault another man, premeditated, three-on-one, causing him to be hospitalised, it is shrugged off as an “accident”, just high-spirited boys blowing off steam. As far as I know they haven’t had so much as a talking-to.

  2. No doubt they’ve got one eye on the potential legal repercussions if they fully acknowledge the negligence and reckless/depraved indifference to his safety that was involved in the “prank”. Disciplining the two women is probably meant to show that BB does too take safety and their duty of care to the contestants seriously.
    I hope Travis plays his socks off over the next weeks and gets to stay while the bully boys are voted off. Then once he gets out of the house he can sue their arses then.

  3. I’m also curious: with Travis’ shingles, did anyone mention the shingles/chickenpox connection to him, or to the other housemates? Are any of them who didn’t have c-pox as a child in for a nasty surprise in another week or so? And is it wrong to nurse a small hope that if anyone does end up enduring adult c-pox, that it will be from amongst the bully boys?

  4. I hope Travis is lawyering up right now. If he has any damage to the eye, Ten could be in for a big settlement.

  5. If Travis had shingles, then Ten’s in dereliction of any duty of care toward their participants right there. It’s an infectious disease, it’s as painful as all hell to go through (I’ve had it myself, as well as chickenpox as a kid – obviously my immune system loves the h. zoster virus to bits) and it really does require quarantining. I’m trying to recall whether it’s one of the ones which can cause problems in the early stages of pregnancy (probably it is, since anything which raises the body temperature too high can cause deformities in an early stage embryo), but even if it isn’t… it’s an infectious disease.
    Quite honestly, from what I hear of “Big Brother”, it’s getting worse each year – how soon before someone kills another participant on-air? I mean, yeah, that’ll really be a ratings winner, even if the unlucky murderer doesn’t make it all the way through the series.
    Meg Thorntons last blog post..The Period Piece

  6. I don’t fault BB particularly on not quarantining for shingles, so long as appropriate medical attention was obtained when it first broke out. In an uncomplicated case in an adult where the shingles area is normally covered with clothing, we don’t quarantine in everyday life – just advise no close contact with non-immune pregnant women or people who are immunocompromised (on chemotherapy, with AIDS, etc).
    The vast majority of young adults should either be immune as a result of childhood chickenpox infection or have been immunised. If they haven’t, they’re going to get chickenpox at some point – it’s ubiquitous.

  7. Brunero is already a cog, using his Live News columns to produce advertising disguised as journalism. He speaks as The Machine tells him to. But he was a Big Brother housemate, after all, so celebrity was always a little higher on his priorities than ideology.

  8. Brunero must be exempt from the law about naming juveniles btw. Odd.
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  9. Brunero must be exempt from the law about naming juveniles btw.

    The fake-ID bust and hotel-room incident has been all over the MSM too, full name and all. What exactly is the law on that?
    Lauredhels last blog post..Friday Hoyden: Whoopi Goldberg

  10. If Travis had shingles, then Ten’s in dereliction of any duty of care toward their participants right there. It’s an infectious disease, it’s as painful as all hell to go through,
    Adult Shingles!!!!!1!1!1
    *tries very hard to be a Good Person and not entertain thoughts of the bullyboys coming down with it*
    *laughs, evilly*


  1. Various Gits the World should know more about at Hoyden About Town
  2. All aboard the Big Brother douchewagon: Nobbi and Ben’s inexpert manipulation at Hoyden About Town
  3. More Big Brother bullying: Alexandra removed from the BB UK house at Hoyden About Town
  4. Ben had a Bad Day: Schadenfreude and the Big Brother Australia “Big Sting” farce at Hoyden About Town
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