Julie Chen Addresses “Big Brother” Racial Controversy: “I Took it Personally”

CBS Upfront
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"Big Brother's" watchful eye is speaking out.

The CBS reality hit's 15th season is stirring up controversy after housemates were overheard using racial and homophobic slurs during the program's 24-hour live feeds, which were later exposed on episode, and now host Julie Chen is addressing the comments, most prominently made by Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman. Spoiler alert: She's not pleased.

"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. It stung," Chen said during a taping of her daytime show "The Talk." "I took it personally. I'm a human being."

READ: CBS aired Aaryn's controversial comments during the last episode

Chen continued, "The year is 2013. I felt ignorant, there are still people in the country who feel and act that way? Yes, there [are]. It made me sad."

Gries was overheard making racist comments about fellow contestant Helen Kim, saying she should "go make rice," and later saying, "I probably look like a squinty Asian right now." She later mocked Asian nail salon workers, saying, "Why you no have boyfriend? It's because you don't want long nail!"

The housemate, who was recently fired by her modeling agency for her remarks, also referred to a gay contestant as "a queer."

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Zimmerman, who was also fired from her job as a pageant coordinator, also drew criticism for saying African-American contestant Candice Stewart was on the dark side "because she's already dark."

Chen isn't the only one commenting on the controversial comments made by Gries and the other houseguests: CBS issued a statement saying the racial remarks were "not condoned" by the network and some fans have started a petition to have Gried kicked off the series.

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