Yet another Big Brother houseguest returned to the outside world on Thursday — but he didn’t exactly get a warm welcome.
Jack Matthews was booted from the BB house during Thursday’s live eviction show, becoming the first member of the Season 21 jury. But upon getting evicted, Matthews was forced to confront several derogatory and/or racist remarks he had made about his fellow houseguests, several of which prompted backlash on social media after they were broadcast on the 24/7 live feeds in recent weeks.
Many of Matthews’ comments were directed at Kemi Fakunle, a black contestant who was the summer’s third evictee. During her post-eviction interview with Matthews, host Julie Chen Moonves played several clips of his remarks, including statements that referred to Fakunle as a “bitch” and “dogs—t.”
“I don’t think there was any personal vendetta behind saying that. My statements were playful in a group of people,” Matthews began. “I do apologize for what I said, and that’s very sincere. I think Kemi was, and is, a great person. This game, being in a 24-hour view of people, you say things. I wouldn’t say that I fully support the things that I said in the way that I said them. If I could take them back, I would.”
Matthews also addressed a separate comment he had made about Isabella Wang, an Asian-American contestant who was evicted fourth this summer. When fellow houseguest Tommy Bracco had said “the proof is in the pudding” regarding Wang’s gameplay, Matthews had responded with, “Rice pudding,” though he insisted to Moonves that the remark was taken out of context.
“It had nothing to do with her ethnicity whatsoever,” he said. “I appreciate that I get to voice that.”
During his time in the Big Brother house, Matthews had allegedly been warned by producers about his derogatory comments, and Fakunle addressed his behavior (as well as other houseguests’ behavior) in a Twitter post after her eviction.
“I am extremely disappointed and disgusted by the behavior I am being made aware of that occurred thus far in the Big Brother house,” Fakunle wrote. “The degrading and threatening comments made by some houseguests and laughed at by others are outrageous and hard to see. I am saddened to be associated with such a negative display of human character and am horrified that this is now a part of my life story.”
CBS and the Big Brother producers also released a joint statement to People in July, affirming that “we do not condone” the houseguests’ remarks.
“We share some of the viewers’ concerns about inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, and producers have addressed specific incidents with the Houseguests involved,” the statement read. “However, there is absolutely no truth that the casting of the show is racially motivated, that the Houseguests’ behavior is predetermined or that the outcome is controlled in any way.”
Video of Matthews’ post-eviction interview will be added if and when it becomes available. In the meantime, drop a comment below with your thoughts on his apology.