Will Aaryn Gries ever learn? The 22-year old “Big Brother” star has been sequestered in the reality TV house for more than a month, but has been called out several times for making racist remarks. She finally apologized to her housemates for her derogatory comments, but on the July 28 episode of the CBS reality show she made yet another off-the-cuff dig making fun of African American dialect.
When showing off her head of Household goodies, Gries pointed out a bag of snacks and said “I axed…I asked for it.” She then quickly turned to an African American housemate, Candice, and said, “You’ve got me saying axed!”
Candice, who’s a speech therapist, later said, “I know how to talk. Clearly, that’s a dialect thing. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through this week.”
While Gries’s latest inappropriate comment may seem mild, some of her past racist remarks have been downright nasty.
The Texas University student previously referred to gay contestant Andy, as “queer” and made fun of Asian housemate Helen by saying “Dude, shut up and go make some rice.” She also described Helen as having “squinty” eyes and as “the first Asian I know who doesn’t do nails.”
One of the worst incidents came when Gries got into a verbal sparring match with Candice and said in an exaggerated stereotypical voice: “Whatchu gon do gurrl … class girl? Where’s yo class?”
On July 29, The Hollywood Reporter reported that CBS President and CEO Les Moonves addressed the racism concerns during the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. “[‘Big Brother’] obviously is a social experiment. It always was,” Moonves said. “Clearly that’s what’s happening this year.”
But the CBS head honcho also said, “I find some of the behavior absolutely appalling personally.”
Of the network’s decision to air a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode, he said, “I think we’ve handled it properly. It makes us uncomfortable.”
The racist comments have hit close to home for Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, who hosts the show. On her daytime chatfest “The Talk,” Chen said, “When I first found out that Aaryn, who is a 22-year-old girl, made anti-gay, anti-black and anti-Asian comments, I have to be honest, the Asian ones hit me the most… It stung. I took it personally. It took me back to the ’70s when I was growing up in Queens and I was 7-years-old getting bullied, being called a chink… I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I haven’t heard comments like that [in years].’ The year is 2013… There are still people in the country who feel and act that way?”
“Big Brother” airs on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on CBS.