Members of the all-Black Cookout alliance from “Big Brother 23” and other “Big Brother alums” from past seasons used the hashtag #BlkBBWeekend (Black Big Brother weekend) to document their visit to Phoenix, Arizona over the weekend of January 15.
The attendees included Tiffany Mitchell, Kyland Young, Hannah Chaddha, and Azah Awasum from BB23, Beau Beasley from BB6, Parker Somerville from BB9, Lawon Exum from BB13, Jodi Rollins from BB14, David Alexander from BB21 and BB22, and Andrew Miller, Angie Tackie, and Breydon White from “Big Brother Canada.”
“This was a special weekend because we were able to personally thank the previous Black BB alumni players for opening up, not only their arms to welcome us in the community, but opening the door for The Cookout to make ‘Big Brother’ history,” Tiffany Mitchell told Us Weekly. “It is their years of struggling to be accepted and represented that fueled our desire to ensure a Black winner for season 23.”
Not all the members of The Cookout were present. Derek Frazier and Xavier Prather, the first Black winner of “Big Brother,” were missing.
Mitchell Says All Black BB Alums ‘Had a Turn’ in The Cookout’s Success
The six-person Cookout alliance worked together to achieve a common goal on “Big Brother 23” — ensuring the show got its first Black winner. They didn’t always get along, but they stuck to their promise and made it to the final six together.
Tiffany Mitchell, America’s Favorite Player, says that all the past Black alums of the show contributed to the Cookout’s success in 2021. “It’s like popping the cork to a champagne bottle. We each had a turn in loosening the cork. The Cookout made history but we did not get to this point alone. This weekend allowed us to share our experiences and bond together. As a fan of the show, I am honored to be accepted into the BB community as not just a player or a friend, but as family,” she told Us Weekly.
“The superfan in me was elated at the thought of rubbing shoulders with Black BB legends and meeting the black cast members of Big Brother throughout its decades long trajectory,” Azah Awasum, who came in third on “Big Brother 23,” wrote on Instagram. “However, once landing in Phoenix, I quickly realized it was so much more than that. To come together and share the human experiences of identity, insecurity, and acceptance as a black person living in both America and the Big Brother house left such a mark on me. So raw, so real, so genuine. This weekend was for the books.”
‘Big Brother 23’ Was the Show’s Most Diverse Season Ever
In 2020, CBS announced that reality shows including “Big Brother,” “Survivor,” and “Love Island” would have casts that were at least 50% people of color. Suddenly, people of color sticking together was a viable strategy for winning “Big Brother”, which is exactly what happened on season 23.
Some fans have critiqued the formation of The Cookout, calling its existence and mission racist. Longtime “Big Brother” host Julie Chen Moonves weighed in on this perception.
“I think it’s hard for some people who are not of color to understand the importance of the Cookout making it this far,” Chen Moonves told Entertainment Weekly. “I have heard some call the formation of the Cookout a form of racism. In my humble opinion, it is not. As a fan of the show, it’s impressive to see an alliance this big make it this far. That rarely happens.”