Friday, August 30, 2013
Big Brother who said racist comments: “That was not meant to be serious”
She used not-safe-for-work words to describe gay people, African Americans, and Asians.
Big Brother contestant Aaryn Gries, 22, a Texas State University student, finally had to respond to criticism for making discriminatory comments about others during the reality show game.
She was voted out by her peers Thursday night and had a short interview with host Julie Chen.
Gries made discriminatory statements about African-American, Asian and gay contestants that aired on the show's live 24-hour Internet feed.
"I do not remember saying those things," Gries claimed, when read the comments by Chen, which earned boos from the crowd in the studio audience.
Gries said of Andy Herren, who is gay: “No one’s gonna vote for whoever that queer puts up.” She also suggested he’d win the Most Valuable Player vote from the fans because “people love the queers.”
Gries said about Houston resident Candice Stewart, 29, who is black, “be careful what you say in the dark; you might not be able to see that (expletive).”
Gries said of Helen Kim, who is Asian, “Shut up. Go make some (expletive) rice.”
On Thursday, Gries tried to explain the comments.
"Being southern it's a stereotype, and I have said some things that have been completely taken out of context and wrong," Gries said. "I do not mean to ever come off as racist. That's not me. I apologize to anyone I offended for that.
"... That was not meant to be serious and if I said those things, I feel horrible for that. I regret that. I don't know what else to say. ... I love everyone in there. Andy and I are great friends. Candice and I are great friends. I love Helen more than anything. It hurts me I would say something like that."
Later, Gries added, "I feel horrible. In Texas, we say things, sometimes we joke and we don't mean it. I feel how bad it is being seen and how I've come across to people. I don't want to seem like that person. I really do respect everyone in this game."
Because of her comments, Gries is reportedly out of a job.
Zephyr Talent, an Austin modeling agency, dumped Gries from her contract.
The company posted on its Facebook page: "Aaryn, season 15 cast member of Big Brother, revealed prejudices and other beliefs that we (Zephyr Talent) do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by Aaryn on the live Internet feed to be offensive. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by Aaryn, either on any live feed from the House or during the broadcast, are hers alone and do not represent the views or opinions of Zephyr Talent. Upon much consideration, we have decided to release Aaryn from her contract with Zephyr Talent."
Big Brother, which airs edited shows Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, locks 16 contestants in a house for 90 days. Each week a contestant is eliminated through a variety of competitions and votes.
Fans can view the house guests 24 hours a day by subscribing to a live feed on the CBS Web site.
There is no rule on the show that contestants are forbidden from making derogatory statements. After the controversy, CBS put a disclaimer at the beginning of the program.
The epithets were not shown on the broadcast until Chen mentioned them during Gries' post-game interview. The broadcast edits the live 24-7 feeds down to 60 minutes per broadcast.
Aaryn wasn't the only person making derogatory comments. Read what other houseguests have said on Reality Blurred.