Two things seemed unanimous Thursday night on CBS’ Big Brother: the decision to evict Aaryn Gries, and the reaction of the live studio audience as she then attempted to explain away the offensive remarks she made while living in the house.
After Judd, Spencer, GinaMarie, Amanda and McRae each voted to evict Aaryn, the (shhh!) ex-model said her farewells, exited the house and came out on stage, where host Julie Chen within the first 90 seconds pointed out that her behavior on the show had been perceived as racist.
“Being Southern, it’s a stereotype,” Aaryn started. “If I have said some things that have been taken completely out of context and wrong…. I did not mean to ever come off racist.” Cue the first burst of in-studio guffaws. “That’s not me,” she continued, “and I apologize to anyone I’ve offended.”
That’s when Chen — noting that “everything they say, everything they do” gets broadcast live on Internet — rattled off a small sampling of the racist and homophobic comments Aaryn made on the live feed, including her telling Helen, who’s Asian, to “Shut up, go make some rice!”
“I do not remember saying those things,” she claimed, as more laughs erupted from the audience. “That was not meant to be serious. And if I said those things… I feel horrible. I don’t even know what else to say about that.”
Reflecting on her time in the house, she contended, “I love everyone in there. Honestly, Andy (the target of her gay slur) and I are great friends, Candice (the African American she said couldn’t be found in the dark) and are great friends, I love Helen more than anything….” More audience titters.
Invited by Chen to offer her final thoughts, the gravity of how Aaryn represented herself to America seemed to hit the ex-houseguest, the smile quickly fading from her face.
“In Texas, we say things…. Sometimes we joke and we don’t mean it,” she offered. “I really feel bad that this is how it was being seen and how I’ve come across to people. I don’t want to seem like that person.”
Before Aaryn was sent off to the Jury House (aka the reason why she was shielded from the news that she lost her job back home), Chen offered this hope for the controversial evictee: “When this is all over you’re going to get to… watch a whole lot of footage. I hope and I think you might have a new perspective on things.”
Do you think Aaryn will acquire a new perspective on her behavior? And do you think Julie Chen pushed just hard enough in her questioning?