TV

'Big Brother' viewers urge network to boot racist, homophobic players

July 8, 2013 at 3:42 PM ET

Image: The "Big Brother" houseguests sit together.
Cliff Lipson / CBS

Fans have had enough! On Sunday night, "Big Brother" finally aired a brief glimpse of some of the controversial content that made headlines recently, and viewers weren't happy with what they saw.

In fact, many viewers want to make sure they never have to see it again -- and not just due to clever editing. They want the players responsible for the offensive comments out of the house.

"CBS!!!!! After watching Sunday's show, 22 of us will not be watching any longer unless Arryn is kicked off the show," fan (or former fan) Rick Reimer said in a post on the official "Big Brother" Facebook page. "Her RACIST remarks cannot be allowed. We will also be boycotting any product that is advertised during the show. I hope others will follow our lead."

Reimer and his 21 unidentified allies weren't alone in the call to action.

Wendy Berry added, "It's funny how what three people have said on this show was bad enough that they've lost their job(s) however it's not bad enough to boot them off the show. Maybe the show should be renamed to Big Bigots."

Amy Williams agreed with the others, but also had a problem with CBS' decision to air the comments at all.

"Pretty sure that Aaryn should be kicked off the show for the slew of racist comments that were just shown on national television," show wrote to the same Facebook page. "Televising those comments should not have happened."

But according to some, CBS didn't go far enough. Sure, the network showed racist and homophobic comments from contestants Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman, but they didn't show the sexist or anti-Semitic comments Spencer Clawson has uttered in the house, or the numerous other inappropriate comments from other houseguests.

(Warning: The following video contains strong language.)

"Kaitlin Barnaby, Jeremy McGuire, David Girton and Spencer Clawson have also said things of the same nature," TODAY reader Godabed pointed out.

Katesus7 shared a similar sentiment on the "Big Brother" forums at Television Without Pity.

"They put it almost all on Aaryn, with one blink and you missed it comment by Gina Marie, they had several HGs give PC diary rooms about how offended they were, and not one word about all the other (expletive) said about Andy and the women by Spencer or Jeremy, who got off scott free," the viewer wrote. "Basically, CBS said 'oh, all right, enough people rose a stink so we'll give you your little segment. Now shut up and start voting for Spencer or Nick to win MVP!' It was just extremely unsatisfying. Although I guess it's still more than I thought they'd show."

"We are very mindful of the important issues that have been raised by these recent comments," CBS said in a statement shared with TODAY.com on Monday. "With regard to the broadcast version, we are weighing carefully issues of broadcast standards, an obligation to inform the audience of important elements that influence the competition, and sensitivity to how any inappropriate comments are presented.”

Host Julie Chen also said on "The Talk" Monday that the network chose to air the comments because they were now having an impact on the game play. "You can't just put it in there and say, 'Judge her, everybody," she said.

"When I first found out that Aaryn, 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," she added about how the derogatory comments impacted her. "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 getting bullied, being called a chink and people pulling their eyes. ... I thought, 'Wow, I haven't heard comments like that (in a long time).' The year is 2013. ... I felt ignorant, there are still people in the country who feel that way and act that way? Yes there is ... it made me sad."

Just how the network should handle the problem was a point that had our readers torn last week. When we asked about it, 35 percent said the players involved should get the boot, but 45 percent thought they'd be satisfied if the footage in question aired. Another 18 percent thought the show should be canceled for the rest of the season. And then there was the 4 percent who thought the best policy would just be to ignore the increasingly difficult-to-ignore situation and not even air the controversy.

Amy McGranor Oviatt had a different idea that she shared on the show's official Facebook page -- let the predicament play out naturally.

"I think Aaryn is disgusting but just bc she said things that we dont agree with does not mean she should be kicked off," Oviatt wrote. "This is BB and that is the point of the show. She will totally get hers and i think that when Howard (Overby) calls her out for what she said and then she walks out to a booing crowd, AND has to answer to (host) Julie (Chen)....that will be sweet revenge and EVERYONE will tune in to watch her go down."

Livejournal user and Oh No They Didn't poster Evett had another, less feasible (and far less legal) solution: "Julie Chen needs to lock the doors from the outside and set that whole house on fire."

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