When the racist comments came out earlier this summer on this season’s Big Brother, Julie Chen made it very clear that she was very offended by the houseguests’ comments made mostly by house guest Aaryn Gries.
"Personally, I was offended," Chen told TMZ. “I was offended by all the comments – the anti-gay, the anti-black, but especially the anti-Asian ones for obvious reasons.”
Once Gries was eliminated from the show, Chen did have a sit-down interview with her as PopWrapped has previously reported.
The Tuesday after she was eliminated Chen sat down with David Letterman and spoke about how she felt about having to interview the houseguest that had offended her earlier in the season.
"It was awkward last Thursday night because this lady that you speak of got evicted from the house. I had to just put on my journalist hat and play it straight down the middle and read it back, verbatim, her words. She did apologize. She seemed dumbfounded by her own words. I do applaud the fact that she said ‘I’m sorry if I offended anyone. But then she talked out of the other side of her mouth and she said, ‘But.’ Any time you apologize and there’s a ‘but,’ to me, it’s not a real apology. She tried to justify it and she said, ‘But I’m from Texas and that’s just how we talk,’ and I thought, ‘The one base you have, you just offended another huge group of people. Guess what? Not everyone from Texas talks like that,”
After speaking with Letterman, Chen also spoke with Entertainment Weekly about how the houseguests’ remarks this season, “opened her eyes to human nature.”
"In the outside world, power and money make people more of who they are at their core, but because money isn’t a factor in the house, it’s all about power and who’s winning competitions and who’s in that HOH bedroom," she said. "That’s when you see if someone is going to be ugly, ugly, ugly."
Chen also spoke about how Aaryn changed her tune midway through the show to ‘compete with the house’ and how her ‘posse’ being eliminated probably changed her game.
"When Aaryn lost her posse, she started behaving very differently. I think it’s safe to say that if she hadn’t been so isolated by losing most of her clique, you would have seen a lot more arrogance and ugliness from her. She’s not stupid - she may be ignorant, but she’s not stupid. She wanted to win so she put on a different face with people she would normally despise.”
Chen has been very outspoken about Aaryn’s comments this season and earlier this week Gries mother, Elizabeth Owens, put out a statement about her disappointment with CBS and Chen about how they’ve dealt with her daughter’s remarks on the show.
"It appears that it was beneficial for ‘Big Brother’ to focus on the negative comments made by Aaryn to boost ratings. Again, I DO NOT condone those inappropriate comments, but I — and I am sure the entire ‘Big Brother’ audience — would have appreciated the show’s producers also airing her complete statement acknowledging the mistakes she made and more of her apologies to the Houseguests while still ‘in the house. I am disappointed that a woman of Julie Chen’s stature would choose to attack Aaryn and influence America to judge the fallacies she [Chen] seems to have about Aaryn."
While she was clear with her disappointment with CBS and Chen, she also made it very clear that she doesn’t condone the remarks that her daughter made in the house.
"While I love and continue to support my daughter Aaryn, words cannot describe my disappointment in some of her comments made on ‘Big Brother.’ These inappropriate comments certainly do not represent the value system under which her father and I have raised her. Aaryn is a young 22-year-old college student that has spent 70 days living in a fish bowl and making mistakes for America to see.”
She hopes that Aaryn will, “own [up] her mistakes and apologize emphatically to the people she has hurt,” saying that she’s confident Aaryn will, “learn from any mistakes she has made and use this experience to grow and heal.”
Owens also said that Aaryn, “has never discriminated against anyone for their sexual orientation whether within our family or not. Aaryn truly loves all people equally.”
What Aaryn has done before Big Brother and inside the house happened and can’t be changed. What she said offended a lot of people and in her exit interview she seemed truly sorry for her remarks. With that being said, saying sorry is just words but I truly hope that she learns from her remarks and becomes a better person because of it.