Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Won Big Brother -- And I Wasn't Even a Contestant!

In the year 2001, during season 2 of the CBS reality series Big Brother, one of the contestants, Justin Sebik, was evicted from the show after he threatened to kill one of the other contestants. The threat was the culmination of repeated inappropriate and intimidating behaviors by Sebik, which included threatening to throw a wine bottle, urinating on a wall of the Big Brother house, and arguing aggressively with an older male contestant.

Sebik was given repeated warnings by the show's producers. The decision to evict Sebik was made after Sebik spoke with the show's psychologist.

Not only was Sebik given an opportunity to talk to the show's consulting psychologist, it appears, based on his later interview with Big Brother host Julie Chen, that he was evicted only after he refused to acknowledge to the psychologist that his actions constituted a threat.  The following video contains Sebik's interview with Julie Chen (see 4:20).

I was terminated from my job as a paralegal by the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in October 29, 1991 after I complained that I was a victim of job harassment by a racist supervisor. I was not given an opportunity by the firm to speak with a consulting mental health professional; a psychiatrist, who did not assess me personally, reportedly advised the firm that I was paranoid and potentially violent.  Akin Gump did not produce any evidence that I ever threatened anyone or that I committed any act of violence; the firm alleged that my "violence" rendered me unfit for employment, though it never specified any acts.

I have lived in happy retirement for the last 19 years at a cost to the federal government of what will probably amount to about $500,000 in federal benefits -- the amount of money Justin Sebik would have been awarded had he had been the winner of Big Brother 2. Ironic, isn't it? In the end, I won after all -- and I wasn't even a contestant!


Gary Freedman said...

Don't you just love it when the Justice Department gets involved in racketeering?

Gary Freedman said...

According to the Justice Department my writings evidence that I am deeply angered by the fact that I got to retire at age 37 -- unlike the lucky bastards who are permitted to get up early every morning, report to a noxious supervisor, and are required to put up with all the crap in the workplace.

God, I envy those lucky bastards!

(That's not sarcasm; according to my psychiatrist, I may suffer from a disorder (Aspergers Syndrome) that renders me unfit to understand sarcasm. But then, maybe I suffer from asymptomatic Aspergers -- like my asymptomatic paranoid schizophrenia and my asymptomatic bipolar disorder. No, that's not sarcasm. That's asymptomatic sarcasm.)

Gary Freedman said...

Where am I? Is this a dream? What in God's name is going on here?

Gary Freedman said...

As I like to say, only the checks are real. Everything else is fake. Fake, fake, fake.

Gary Freedman said...

The contestant Krista, whom Sebik threatened to kill, later sued CBS arguing that the show inadequately screened Sebik before the show.

That's true. I don't know what happened to the case.

I think it's an emerging area of tort law: "negligent selection of a reality show contestant."