Big Brother: Hate Speech In House Sparks Fervent Reaction
Houseguests are facing real-life consequences for using hate speech on the CBS reality show
A handful of Big Brother houseguests are in hot water – and not just those up for eviction this week.
Since moving in to the house less than two weeks ago, contestants Aaryn Gries, GinaMarie Zimmerman, Spencer Clawson and others have been documented using racial, homophobic and misogynistic slurs on the 24-hour live feeds online.
The hate speech – which has reportedly been directed towards the women, African-Americans, Asians and gays in the house – has sparked a fervent reaction from both fans and former contestants of the CBS reality show.
“I find it disgusting and horrible that people still think this way in their hearts and act like it is okay to say,” season 13 winner Rachel Reilly tells PEOPLE. “Every time one of these people come on a live feed I change it because I am so disgusted.”
As a result of the documented slurs, Gries, 22, has been dropped by her modeling agency in Texas and Zimmerman, 32, has been fired from her employer East Coast Pageant, Inc., TMZ reports.
“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,” season 12 contestant Ragan Fox said in an open letter Sunday. “It would be irresponsible to punt on this issue viewers have to see it to believe it.”
CBS also addressed the controversy in a statement released 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.”
And while CBS has not aired the controversial statements and slurs, not everyone believes they should or have to.
“I stand by CBS if they do not want to air it,” Reilly says. “But I am saddened by what [the houseguests] have to say about minorities. The homophobic and racist remarks are beyond bad.”
Season 15 of Big Brother airs on CBS every Wednesday, Sunday and Tuesday night.