When the Big Brother 15 producers came up with the new twists, I’m sure they expected the MVP, the three nominees and Rachel Reilly’s sister to be the big stories. They never could’ve imagined that a near nonstop cavalcade of racist remarks would hijack the conversation. Now the issue is finally being brought up by the HGs, and if you think that it all ends with everyone eating cookies after learning a valuable lesson of tolerance, you’d be wrong.
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains Big Brother 15 spoilers.
The HGs aren’t allowed to discuss their diary room sessions, but they occasionally do, and it’s obvious from what’s being said that they know all of Aaryn’s racist “jokes” and comments are becoming a storyline on the show. Normally you’d think that would make her re-evaluate what she’s done and try to make amends with the people who have been offended. But not Aaryn Gries.
Tuesday on the live feeds, Amanda sat down with Aaryn and explained to her that, while she doesn’t think Aaryn is actually a racist and that some of her comments are intended as jokes (like the ones about her HoH fish tank, where the white fish and black fish segregate themselves), other people don’t see it that way and may take offense. She suggested that Aaryn should apologize to people like Candice, Howard and Helen.
Aaryn, however, decided to double down on herself. She complained that being blue-eyed and blonde-haired makes her an easy target for racism allegations and said that people comparing her to Barbie is on par with the things she’s said. In other words, she thinks she’s the one being discriminated against.
She proceeded to explain that she’s “never made a joke in front of anyone” and thinks that Candice is only taking it the wrong way because she knows she’s going home next week and is insecure. She’s basically equating blonde jokes with black jokes, upset that it’s OK to make one but not the other. You can’t make this crap up.
Tuesday night Aaryn actually sat down with Howard to talk a little bit about it, explaining that she never intended to be derogatory. He basically gave her a pass that she is not a racist and he doesn’t believe she has bad intentions with the things she’s said. He quickly tried to pivot it back into a conversation about the game and this week’s vote. It’s not exactly the great race summit producers were probably hoping for, but it’s probably the best they’re gonna get.
I suspect the producers are trying desperately to guide the HGs into a storyline where Aaryn realizes her mistakes, apologizes and has a “Come to Jesus” moment to provide at least a tiny glimmer of redemption for her. But as powerful as they are, the Big Brother 15 producers can’t actually script reality TV.
The whole thing is just making me uneasy. While I still maintain that Aaryn shouldn’t be expelled from the house for the things she’s said (and continues to say), it’s shocking to me that she doesn’t even try to change her image, despite now knowing how she’s being portrayed. She may not understand the full scope (the countless articles written about her racism, petitions to get her expelled, being fired from her modeling agency), but she has to know that she’s not coming across as America’s sweetheart.
Part of me does feel bad for her, simply because she has no idea of the hole she’s digging for herself and how hard her life is going to be when she gets out of the house. I know she’s brought it upon herself, but it’s going to be rough. The hardest part is when she talks about her modeling career or how she wants to be a hostess on TV when she leaves the house. Perhaps my favorite exchange was this one from Monday.
Nick: “Where do you work?”
Aaryn: “I have an agency.”
No, sweetie, you don’t.
I suppose the only saving grace for her is that, unlike fellow HG GinaMarie, I don’t think Aaryn has actually used the “n” word (though I’m not positive).
Big Brother 15 should be a lot more interesting next week. Once Aaryn is out of power (and assuming none of her close allies win HoH), will the others still be relatively silent when it comes to her remarks, or will they finally go off on her? There could certainly be fireworks, because right now, being in charge of the game is the only thing keeping her safe.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)