Reality TV’s First Transgender Star Miriam Rivera Dies

Reality TV’s first transgender star, Miriam Rivera, has died. She rose to fame during the early 2000s, starring in two reality shows.

Rivera was best known for her role on a British reality television show, There’s Something About Miriam, which aired back in 2004 on Sky 1, as well as her guest appearance on Big Brother Australia’s fourth season.  There’s Something About Miriam’s production company, Endemol, was sued by contestants for conspiracy to commit sexual assault, defamation, and for having suffered from psychological injury. The contestants were upset that Rivera had waited to the final episode to share with them that she was transgender. Tom Rooke, who was the winner, accepted the $10,000 prize money and vacation, but he later returned the winnings and joined the other cast members in their lawsuit. The production company settled for an unknown amount, but it was figured to be around $500,000 each.

Related: Big Brother Houseguest Slams Show for Unfair Advantages

Rivera was the world’s first openly transgender reality television star. She died in Mexico at only 38 years old on February 5, and her death had been listed due to mysterious circumstances. Daily Mail reported that even though Rivera had died months ago, the information surrounding her death only appeared on Friday.

Rivera’s husband, Daniel Cuervo was told that the police found Rivera’s body in their apartment after she allegedly hanged herself. Cuervo disputes the police report saying he suspected foul play. On the day of her death, her husband said Rivera called from Mexico saying she had been throwing up blood and went to the hospital to seek out medical attention. After her death, Cuervo told authorities that when he was planning Rivera’s funeral, he was contacted by an unknown male and told not to come back to Mexico or he would be killed, too. The Mexican police refused to fly her body to New York City and before Cuervo could see his wife’s body; she had already been cremated, leaving no chance for an autopsy.

Most recently, Rivera was injured in New York while trying to escape an intruder in 2007. Rivera was also a spokesperson for the New York ballroom scene’s legendary House of Xtravaganza with its members being recognized for their influence in the areas of dance, visual arts, and community activism.  Rivera will be remembered for her trailblazing work and brave battle to be acknowledged in the transgender community, helping the transgender youth to be more comfortable in their skin.

Next: Big Brother’s Isabella Wang Rejects Racist Claims Against Houseguests

Source: Variety

2019-08-10 07:08:20

Jennifer O'Brien

Big Brother: Audrey Middleton Says CBS Exploited Her Being Transgender

Audrey Middleton, former contestant on Big Brother, went to Twitter to call out CBS for telling her she should come out as transgender on the show. Middleton was a houseguest on Big Brother during season 17, which aired in 2015.

During her time on Big Brother, Middleton would become the first transgender contestant on the show. That was also the same season that a pair of twins, Liz and Julia Nolan, competed as one. While Audrey did become a fan favorite during her season, she did not last long on the show. She made it 36 days in the Big Brother house and was the fourth person evicted that season.

Related: Big Brother’s Elissa Slater Explains Why She Initially Didn’t Want to Go on the Show

These new claims from Middleton come from her Twitter account, as she talked about her past casting and appearance on Big Brother. In the tweets, Middleton claimed that CBS doesn’t care about representation on the show and that CBS “appeals to the social climate, at all cost.” Audrey claims that CBS thought her coming out as transgender would bring positive representation to the show. At the time, Caitlyn Jenner had just come out as transgender and was getting a positive reception, and CBS wanted to capitalize on that. Middleton stated CBS producers were “worried about perception” and asked her to come out as the first transgender houseguest. Check out her tweets below:

This conversation and the tweets from Middleton were sparked by complaints about the current season’s houseguests. Season 21 has not gotten off to the best start, as Jackson Michie and Jack Matthews are giving the season a bad reputation. Fans of the show have been outraged on social media, as they claim the duo have used the N-word on the live feeds, which CBS is denying happened. Middleton addressed this issue, as she claims that CBS casts problematic houseguests. She said, “To be completely blunt, in my experience and opinion, like most systems, Big Brother U.S. is a completely corrupt operation whose agenda is solely to make money.” She even took digs at host Julie Chen and producers, as she added, “Hence, the lack of authenticity from the host, the poorly planned twist, and routine cast with bigoted views.”

When it comes to Big Brother, fans of the show are a very passionate group. They will not let any of these details die down, as they will want answers, and Audrey has now added fuel to the fire. Producers of the show keep bringing in houseguests that are going to draw the line with controversial topics, and since it keeps the show relevant and in the news, fans likely shouldn’t expect any changes with casting in the future to stop these issues.

Next: Big Brother: The 5 Best Veto Plays (& 5 Of The Worst)

Big Brother airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9pm EST and Sundays at 8pm EST on CBS.

Source: Audrey Middleton

2019-07-25 07:07:54

Todd Betzold