Big Brother houseguest Jackson Michie finally got that long-awaited confetti shower on Wednesday night — but he didn’t exactly seem thrilled about it.
On the Season 21 finale, Michie was awarded the $500,000 grand prize, besting runner-up Holly Allen in a 6-3 jury vote. But minutes before Michie was named the winner, he was grilled by host Julie Chen Moonves and some of the season’s previous evictees, who broke the news that some of Michie’s behavior this summer was perceived as racist and misogynistic.
“There’s a lot of things that you don’t hear in the house, and hearing that on the spot when you’re trying to rally votes for half a million is a lot to take in,” Michie told EW.com, referencing his stony-faced reaction upon clinching the big win. “A lot of it was shock from the questions, shock from actually winning and staying true to my goal of seeing confetti. But nonetheless, it was a lot of excitement on the inside.”
During Wednesday’s broadcast, Michie seemed taken aback by accusations of racist behavior, particularly his Night 1 decision to dole out a punishment to four fellow houseguests, three of whom are minorities. (“I’m not racist,” he insisted to those evictees during the finale, adding that his choices were purely strategic.)
But Michie was also asked about his treatment of women in the Big Brother house, who felt that he often acted in a derogatory and condescending way.
“I know who I am and I know who I’m not, and I respect women more than anything. I’m very abrasive and I have a lot of energy and passion in everything I say and do. And I’m that way toward everyone,” Michie continued. “And I know that it’s not right, but it has never been anything about demoralizing or being condescending to women, honestly… I truly do respect women. I hate that someone may think that out there.”
Michie also addressed the “pompous douchebag” insult that he received from Zingbot earlier in the season, acknowledging that “I’m used to, in real life, people disliking me more than liking me. And most of the time, it is because they have never gotten to know me.”
“In a house with 24/7 surveillance, it is easy and very frequent to come across in a way that’s not ideal,” he added. “But that’s part of the experience I signed up for. And I hope at the end of the day, after it’s all said and done, that I’ve made [my parents] proud and that I put the best foot forward.”