Entertainment » Television

’Big Brother’ Cast Under Fire for Making Anti-Gay, Racists Comments

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Jul 3, 2013

The 15th season of CBS's hit summertime reality television show "Big Brother" hasn't even been on for a full week but the program's contestants have come under fire for making anti-gay and racists comments towards their fellow houseguests.

As Fox News reports, numerous blogs, websites and commenters across the Internet have sharply criticized three "Big Brother" contestants after they were caught spewing racist and anti-gay rhetoric on the show's live-feeds, which can be viewed 24/7 online, allowing fans to view the players' every move.

The controversial remarks came from Aaryn Gries, Spencer Clawson and GinaMarie Zimmerman. TMZ reports Gries was caught calling gay contestant Andy Herren a "queer" and Clawson called him "Kermit the fag." Jezebel also reports Herren has been called "Faggoty Ann." Additionally, Zimmerman was heard using the N-word.

The hateful remarks didn’t stop there, however. The Los Angeles Times reports Zimmerman, Gries and houseguest Kaitlin Barnaby were overhead talking about two black contestants, Candace Stewart and Howard Overby. One of the women allegedly said, "Blacks stick together. ... They’re like tokens. ... They’re like black Barbie and Kens." One of the other women said Stewart’s "blackness" was coming out, after she was nominated for eviction.

The LA Times also reports that the comments were uploaded on YouTube but have since been deleted because of copyright claim by Endemol USA, the studio that produces "Big Brother."

Zap2It reports that Gries also made fun of Asian houseguest, Helen Kim, for crying and said, "Dude, shut up, go make some rice." Zimmerman made racist remarks towards Kim as well, saying that they should make her "eyes straight."

Jezebel reports that Clawson was also filmed saying Hitler was a great public speaker and praised Nazi doctors, noting that their experiments performed on Jewish people during World War II were beneficial. The site also reports that cast mate Jeremy McGuire often calls female contestants "bitches" and referred to Barnaby’s vagina as "meat wallet."

The backlash from fans has spread across the web like wildfire, and many are criticizing "Big Brother" producers for their lack of action on the issue.

As the LA Times reports, former cast member Ragan Fox, who is openly gay and appeared on the show’s 12th season, took to his website to call out the reality show’s officials.

"’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. What makes Aaryn’s homophobia and racism especially insidious is that it comes packaged in a bright-eyed, pageant-like exterior. I mean, how can somebody so sweet looking spew so much venom? Viewers would have to SEE it to BELIEVE it."

CBS’ officials have felt the heat and made an official statement through TMZ, though they did not say how, or if, they will deal with the contestants who made the controversial remarks.

"We certainly find the statements made by several of the Houseguests on the live Internet feed to be offensive," CBS said. "At times, the Houseguests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone."

Since the incident, Gries has been dropped by her modeling agency, TMZ reports.

"Aaryn, season 15 cast member of Big Brother, revealed prejudices and other beliefs that we [Zephyr Talent] do not condone," an official for the Austin-based modeling agency Zephyr Talent said, according to TMZ. "We certainly find the statements made by Aaryn on the live Internet feed to be offensive. Upon much consideration, we have decided to release Aaryn from her contract with Zephyr Talent."


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