Luke Valentine has now joined the long list of “Big Brother” contestants who have been involved in racist incidents on the show.
On Aug. 9, CBS and the producers behind the competition series announced that Valentine was removed from the “Big Brother” house a week after the show premiered its 25th season.
“Luke violated the BIG BROTHER code of conduct and there is zero tolerance in the house for using a racial slur,” the network and producers said in a statement. “He has been removed from the house. His departure will be addressed in Thursday night’s show.”
Fans called out Valentine, a 30-year-old illustrator, on social media after hearing him say the N-word on the Paramount+ live feeds. The live feeds allow viewers to see unedited conversations between the houseguests in real time.
In the early hours of the morning on Aug. 9, Valentine was speaking to fellow houseguests Cory Wurtenberger, Hisam Goueli and Jared Fields when he uttered the slur.
“We were in the f—ing cheese room,” he said before saying the N-word in multiple videos shared on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He then covered his mouth and corrected himself, adding “dude” and repeating the sentence. He laughed and turned to Fields, who is Black, and apologized.
The show has a history of contestants using racist language. During Season 15, contestants like runner-up GinaMarie Zimmerman and Aaryn Gries made multiple offensive statements and belittled Black contestant Candice Stewart.
In Season 20, contestant JC Mounduix also said the N-word in a segment aired on the show while comparing offensive words.
Following news of Valentine’s removal, Ovi Kabir, who appeared on Season 21, pointed out how “Big Brother” has handled racist incidents in the past.
“This is the correct type of response to #bb25 Luke’s abhorrent behavior & a result that only occurred bc of a culture change within the show from the many fans who’ve continually demanded better from big brother,” he said on X.
Contestants have been removed during previous seasons for violating other rules. In Season 14, Willie Hantz was expelled after getting into a physical altercation with houseguest Joe Arvin.
Valentine’s exit is the latest scandal in the “Big Brother” franchise following the treatment Taylor Hale, who went on to win the show, faced last season.
Within a week of the show premiering on July 6, 2022, fans and “Big Brother” alums defended Hale after she was ostracized and continuously mocked by other contestants.
Before Season 25 began, the show’s executive producers spoke to Variety about the casting process.
Longtime executive producer Allison Grodner said, “It’s a social experiment using a group of people with different life experiences. They all bring that in and learn from each other. They learn, they change, they grow. Hopefully, by watching that, we’re also making a positive impact on the outside world.”
They also addressed claims from some fans who questioned if “Big Brother” intentionally casts offensive houseguests each summer.
“That’s definitely 1,000% not true,” said executive producer Rich Meehan. “But we do cast a wide net of people from all different walks of life, all different upbringings, so sometimes you do get surprised along the way.”