So what was Erika’s big crime that focused everyone on her? She wanted to be a good person. Erika’s the one who didn’t pick on anyone, who cried every time she had to evict someone she actually liked, who tried to make goodbye videos that were sincere and apologized for voting people off even though everyone had to do it. And at the beginning of the season she did look a little better than a lot of these people: she seemed to realize that it’s kind of a goofy concept but that it seemed like fun to do it again, didn’t treat it as a life or death competition, didn’t want to see other people humiliated. She ended up making herself an easy target by actually caring about someone that was literally laughing behind her back, and the mob used it to tear her down. They liked watching her become a nervous wreck over the course of the season and start smoking again. I swear she visibly aged a decade during the finale, hearing all of those horrible things that people were saying about her and had been saying for weeks.
I can’t help but feel that people like Alison and Janelle are even more morally culpable than Mike is in making this the most nauseating thing that I’ve ever seen. Because in a situation where Mike has made it clear that he has no respect for women, and no inner filter that might prevent his misogyny from poisoning everything the way it did I can’t help but believe that they knew exactly what was happening. And they chose to encourage it, to laugh at it, to pile on Erika and make everything worse. To congratulate him on what he had done. One lunatic standing in a room and attempting to destroy someone’s self worth is awful, but it makes it clear that he is in the wrong. To join in encourages a group mentality that makes it look like he’s right, that somehow validates this entire awful display. By becoming complicit in this they’ve magnified the damage it does, when they could have turned the tide and helped make things better.