Julie Chen on Aaryn’s Racism in the Big Brother House

CHEN“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, you know… the Asian ones hit me the most. I heard about her describing Asians as ‘squinty-eyed’ and ‘go make a bowl of rice.’ She said that about Helen, who is Chinese. It stung. I took it personally. I’m a human being. And the really sad part was, it took me back to the ’70s when I was growing up in Queens and when I was seven years old getting bullied, being called a ‘chink’, and people pulling their eyes. But it took me back so many years, and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I haven’t heard comments like that’ —  year is 2013. And then I felt ignorant. There are still people in the country who feel that way and act that way? Yes there are, yes there are. And afterwards, it just made me sad because she’s 22 and she’s college educated.”

In the most recent episode of Big Brother, CBS aired all the previously deleted remarks because they were “driving a story.” Chen explains: “CBS and Big Brother showed it because it is now driving a story. It is now affecting how the other players want to see her gone. You know, if it didn’t drive story, and it didn’t have a dynamic on what it is to the elements of the game, you can’t just put it in there and say, ‘Judge her, everybody.’ It has to have to do with the game and the rules of the game. She and the other houseguests have no idea that it has made national headlines.”

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