Big Brother 25 production is taking heat for allegedly not accommodating deaf houseguest Matt Klotz enough in the show’s second POV competition involving listening to instructions from spin tables. Fans were already upset after he also competed in the second HOH competition with muffled instructions from the Nether Gorgon and him not understanding to leave the diary room on the first live eviction night while speaking to Julie Chen Moonves. Now fans are stunned that Matt had to compete in yet another competition that heavily relied on listening.
Houseguest Matt can still hear, with the help of his hearing aids, but has a major hearing impairment. The native Californian now calling Bato Rouge, Louisiana, home said in his first impression interview that physical competitions he would excel, but listening competitions would be a disadvantage. However, Big Brother production made accommodations for Matt’s hearing impairment on set before starting the competition.
“He’s an accomplished athlete and wanted to do this because he loves the game and the show, but also to set an example and to inform people about what he goes through and be an example for people out there to learn about people who are hard of hearing and deaf. So we were thrilled to take that on,” executive producer Allison Grodner told Entertainment Weekly.
The BB 25 production team took Matt into the house pregame, blindfolded, to test out the speaker equipment in the backyard, diary room and elsewhere in the house to ensue he could hear clearly instructions coming from the new audio equipment. They also made the Diary Room more soundproof and installed a speak to go right above Matt’s head. That way even if production turned up the volume when doing one-on-one interviews, other houseguests wouldn’t overhear the private conversation.
Big Brother 25 Fans Outraged Deaf Houseguest Matt Wasn’t More Accommodated In POV Competition
Despite the production crew planning to accommodate Matt’s deafness, fans found fault in the latest competition. They accused production of being ableist. Twitter erupted with deaf people and family members of deaf loved ones upset.
Another experience for Matt, a deaf contestant, that most people don't even think about. He doesn't know a lot of musical instruments, like what a tuba looks like. He probably never took a music class in kindergarten or when ever kids learn that stuff. #BB25
— Luv (@peacegreatlove) August 17, 2023
“As we have now, per live feeds, competed our fourth competition. We are still seeing Matt struggle to hear the rules to the game and is impacting game play. We know Matt doesn’t know sign language. Does he not use hearing aids? As a teacher we used mics that would connect directly to students who were hearing impaired. Which is a very easy solution to Matt’s struggles. If he doesn’t use hearing aids what more can BB production do other than blast the volume to 100?” said one BB fan on Reddit.
Fans also believe they only showed the top three times because Matt took extra long on the competition. Fans also got upset when CBS tweeted out a gif of Matt for the hearing competition, which was then deleted.
is this some kind of sick joke or something??? using a gif of matt, a DEAF houseguest (one of which you don't accommodate well) to talk about the pov competition is insane. hiding his time won't hide the ableism. #BB25 https://t.co/FEj8ICLtim
— colleen (@floatinoutside) August 17, 2023
— Parody Account of Evil E ??? (@iam_erika) August 17, 2023
— Kirsten (@KirstenAcuna) August 17, 2023
If anything, production’s lack of accommodations for Matt has given me more self-awareness to how challenging it is for the deaf community in everyday settings. A big learning for myself and a lot of viewers. Saddening that CBS can’t say the same. #BB25
— zingbot abel (@EdAbelG_BB) August 17, 2023
Let’s hope BB 25 show production takes the feedback in stride and doesn’t put Matt in anymore competitions where listening quickly is a crucial part of winning it. Some fans claim Matt was given immunity this week from being voted out because of the audio competitions putting him at a severe disadvantage.
At least Matt has the secret power of lip reading 100 percent and the advantage of being a Deaflympics gold medalist athlete. Hopefully future competitions play to his strengths on a level playing field.