'Big Brother' Host Julie Chen on Contestants' Racial Comments: 'It Stung'
"The Talk" co-presenter Julie Chen, who also hosts "Big Brother", shared her feelings about the offensive remarks made on the CBS show by the contestants. During a Monday discussion with Aisha Tyler, Sharon Osbourne, Sara Gilbert and Sheryl Underwood, Chen said she took offense at the insensitive comments, especially the ones that made fun of Asians.
"When I first heard found out that Aaryn [Gries], 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. I heard about her describing Asians as 'squinty-eyed' and 'go make a bowl of rice,' " Chen said. "It stung. I took it personally; I'm a human being."
"The really sad part was it took me back to the '70s when I was growing up in Queens and when I was 7 years old being bullied being called a chink and people pulling their eyes. But it took me back so many years and I thought to myself: Wow I haven't heard comments like that. The year is 2013 ... and then I felt ignorant."
"Wow, there are people who still live in this country who feel that way and act that way. Yes, there is. Yes, there is. And afterward, it just made me sad because she's 22 and she's college-educated," she added.
CBS initially censored the TV broadcast, though those unsavory remarks appeared on the internet feed. After getting criticized for not exposing the racists, the network decided to air some of the derogatory terms and show how the other HouseGuests reacted to the insults.
"The Talk" co-host Sara Gilbert commended CBS for that, "I feel like it's good for people to see it and let these people deal with these consequences when they get out of the house."
Following the controversy, Aaryn was dropped by her modeling agency and lost a gig with Bella Petite magazine. Fellow contestant GinaMarie, a pageant coordinator, was also fired from her day job for throwing insensitive remarks.
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