Just one week into the season, “Big Brother” is already facing a huge controversy over the cast members’ alleged racist, homophobic, and sexist comments.
Nearly half of the houseguests made such slurs, according to Reality Blurred, on the CBS show’s 24-hour online live feed. None of the remarks have aired during a broadcast episode, and it’s unclear if the network plans to do so.
CBS issued a statement distancing itself from the houseguests’ behavior:
“BIG BROTHER is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 — and seeing every moment of their lives. At times, the Houseguests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by several of the Houseguests on the live Internet feed to be offensive. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a Houseguest appearing on BIG BROTHER, either on any live feed from the House or during the broadcast, are those of the individual(s) speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program.”
Reality Blurred compiled examples of the many offensive comments, which include GinaMarie using the n-word, Aaryn telling Helen (who’s Asian) to “make some f—ing rice,” and Spencer calling Andy a “f-g.” Kaitlin, David, Jeremy, and Amanda also made some remarks on the live feed.
The backlash is building and affecting the cast members’ regular lives as well. TMZ reports that 22-year-old college student Aaryn Gries was dropped by a modeling agency. Zephyr Talent said, “Aaryn, season 15 cast member of Big Brother, revealed prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone … Upon much consideration, we have decided to release Aaryn from her contract.”
This could become a controversy on the scale of Paula Deen-gate. The Food Network personality was fired and lost many endorsement deals after she admitted to having used the n-word in the past. Deen, dubbed the queen of Southern cooking, saw her empire crumble in just a matter of days.
Various “Big Brother” fan sites called on CBS to air the bad behavior. Since viewers can vote for a most valuable player on a weekly basis this season, it’s important to know who’s talking trash on the side and should be bounced out of the MVP stakes. Former “Big Brother” houseguest Ragan Fox (Season 12) agrees. In an open letter to producers, he urged the show to include some of the conversations from the live feed in future episodes.
“Big Brother, I LOVE you, but, if you really want to provide a groundbreaking twist, SHOW CBS VIEWERS HOW SOME STRAIGHT, WHITE PEOPLE talk about gays, Asian Americans, and African Americans,” he wrote.
“Capitalize on the Paula Deen controversy! Hate speech is currently a hot topic in the United States. It would be irresponsible to punt on this issue.”
“Big Brother” airs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays on CBS.