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Fans and Former Contestants React to Big Brother Controversy

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author

PopWrapped

07/04/2013 11:29 pm
Fans and Former Contestants React to Big Brother Controversy

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Brittany Goldfield Rodrigues


Staff Writer

Looks like things have been shaken up on Big Brother, and not just amongst those leaving the house.

Contestants Aaryn Gries, Gina Marie Zimmerman, and Spencer Clawson moved into the house two weeks ago, and have since been documented on the 24-hour live feeds using terms considered to be racial, homophobic and misogynistic.

The hate speech evident on the show is prominently directed towards the female contestants, gays, African-Americans, and Asians. Both fans and former contestants of the CBS reality show have reacted strongly to such derogatory speech.

"I find it disgusting and horrible that people still think this way in their hearts and act like it is okay to say. Every time one of these people come on a live feed I change it because I am so disgusted,” Big Brother’s season 13 winner Rachel Reilly said to PEOPLE.

TMZ reports that contestants have reaped the consequences of their language, as 32-year-old Zimmerman has been fired from her employer East Coast Pageant, Inc., and 22-year-old Gries has also been laid off by her modeling agency in Texas.

On Sunday, in an open letter, season 12 contestant Ragon Fox wrote, “”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, It would be irresponsible to punt on this issue…viewers have to see it to believe it.” 

In response to the controversy, CBS released the following statement to PEOPLE:

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,” says the network’s statement. “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.” 

CBS has not aired footage of contestants using the controversial slurs. Regardless, Reilly says “I stand by CBS if they do not want to air it. But I am saddened by what [the houseguests] have to say about minorities. The homophobic and racist remarks are beyond bad.” 

Big Brother’s 15th season airs every Wednesday, Sunday and Tuesday night on CBS. 

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