NEW YORK – Fans of the reality show Big Brother 2 are calling for the show to end — now.
The final three contestants on the show apparently have been told only the barest facts about the extent of the devastation from last week's terrorist attacks and some fans are complaining that it is "cruel" to keep them in the dark any longer.
The issue of canceling Big Brother 2 before its scheduled final episode next Thursday is especially sensitive because one contestant, Brooklyn's Monica Bailey, has a family member who worked in the World Trade Center and has been missing since the catastrophe.
"I love the 'reality TV' genre. But these errors of judgment could kill it," wrote a Big Brother 2 fan from Canada named Dave M. on the Web site realitynewsonline.com.
"It is time to call the game in the Big Brother house . . . America, perhaps the world, is one big family. You don't keep family separated under circumstances like these."
Bailey's cousin, Tamitha Freeman, an employee of Aon Corp., was working on the 90th floor of the south tower. She has not been heard from since shortly after the north tower of the World Trade Center was slammed by a hijacked jet airliner last Tuesday morning.
An industry source said that in light of the situation with Bailey's family, she has been given more information about the attacks than the other two house-guests.
Producers had reportedly offered Bailey's family a chance to talk directly to her last week — but at the time they decided against it for fear of upsetting her.
On the show, contestants are locked in a specially built house — wired with mics and TV cameras and under constant surveillance on the Internet — without contact to the outside world.
While the remaining contestants were told of the attack — and Monica's missing cousin — the day after, it has been clear to those watching that they do not yet comprehend what has happened.
Meanwhile, of the four European versions of Big Brother that are airing overseas, only the Dutch version has told its players about last week's attacks.
"It's one of the basic themes in Big Brother that they have no contact with what is happening outside the house," Kristina Vanhaute, a spokeswoman for Belgian Big Brother broadcaster Kanaal 2, told a news agency in Brussels.
"If you show them these images, you immediately create a panic situation because they won't know how things will evolve," she said.