This season of Big Brother has had its fair share of controversy. The majority of it stems from the racist and homophobic remarks made by multiple cast members this season.
One of the cast members, who made a good portion of the most controversial remarks, Aaryn Gries, was (finally) eliminated from the show last night.
Aaryn walked out of the house to an audience who had very mixed emotions, half cheering her and half booing her. She then made her way to her exit interview with the show’s host Julie Chen. The interview started out with game talk. It quickly turned to talk of the remarks she made early in the show while in the house.
Julie Chen brought up the question to her saying that she had said some pretty harsh things about her fellow housemates. Chen said that other cast members tried to warn her that people might be taking what she was saying as ‘racist’.
Gries responded by saying: “Being Southern, It’s a stereotype, and I have said some things that have been taken completely out of context and wrong, and I do not mean to ever come off racist, that’s not me and I apologize to anyone that I’ve offended for that.”
Julie then proceeded to explain to Aaryn that most people know that when going into the house, everything that happens in the house is broadcast live on the internet.
Below are some of the remarks that Aaryn Gries made while in the Big Brother house:
“Be careful what you say in the dark, might not be able to see the bitch” Referring to African-American female housemate, Candice Stewart.
“Shut up and go make some rice” In reference to Asian-American housemate, Helen Kim
“No one’s going to vote for whoever that queer puts up” In reference to gay housemate, Andy Herren.
Chen than proceeded to asked Aaryn if she could now see how her statements might have come across as racist and homophobic. Aaryn then proceeded to tell Julie that she didn’t remember saying any of the things Julie mentioned. This caused some laughter from the audience, almost in disbelief that she wasn’t taking responsibility for what she had said.
Instead of owning up to what she said, she made excuses.
“I do, I do not remember saying those things and those things were not meant to be- That was- That was not meant to be serious and if I said those things that is- I feel horrible for that and I regret that I- I don’t even know what else to say about that but I’m not..” Aaryn tearfully replied to Chen.
Julie than asked her if she thought Big Brother has taught her anything about herself by being in the house for the 70 days that she was.
“I-I definitely do. Its taught me a lot about people and life and just life in general. I mean I feel like a completely different person leaving the house and I love everyone in there and honestly Andy and I are great friends, Candice and I are great friends, I love Helen more than anything and that hurts me that I would say something like that.”
She then watched some goodbye messages from her fellow houseguests that are still in the house, but Julie did ask her if she wanted to leave some final thoughts which were this:
“No- I honestly feel- I feel horrible- I feel like in Texas we say things that are sometimes we joke and we say things and we don’t mean it. I really feel bad that this is how it’s being seen and how I’ve come across to people. I don’t want to seem like that person and I really do respect everyone in this game although we’ve had some really hard times because we’re all fighting for our lives in the game.”
The interview ended with Julie Chen giving Aaryn some advice for what she should do now that her stint on the show (though she is still in the game) is over to give her a new perspective as to why people are reacting to her the way that they are.
"You’re in a unique spot because when this is all over you’re going to get to go home and watch a whole lot of footage of yourself living for 70 days. After you watch all this footage, I hope and I think you might have a new perspective on things," Chen said.
Watching the interview on TV last night I have to say that I’m probably not the only one who felt mixed emotions over the interview. While I do think that Aaryn was genuine in her apology of not meaning to offend anyone, I can’t help but be frustrated that she wouldn’t take responsibility for what she said instead of making excuses. Blaming her Texas roots and not remembering what she had probably didn’t change any opinions over whether people think that she’s racist or not.
You can watch the exit interview below.
While Aaryn is eliminated from the house, she is still a part of the game and has no idea that she was let go from her modeling contract in response to her racist remarks. She will be put into the Jury House that keeps her and the other eliminated houseguests from getting information from the outside world since they are still considered a part of the game. The jury members play a big part of the game.
They will choose the winner on finale night which will be shown live on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013.
Until then you can continue to watch the rest of the season unfold every Sunday and Wednesday at 8pm EST, and Thursday at 9pm EST on CBS.