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Julie Chen Breaks her Silence on 'Big Brother' Racism


Julie Chen


Julie Chen, host of the hit CBS reality show 'Big Brother' for an impressive fifteen seasons, has been asked a lot of questions of late. After the scandal hit regarding the racist and homophobic comments being uttered in the 'Big Brother' house by contestants GinaMarie Zimmerman and Aaryn Gries, Chen has been pressed for comment. On the latest episode of 'Big Brother,' CBS finally opted to recognize that the scandal was taking place, featuring Zimmerman & Gries' hurtful comments in a montage segment and allowing the other houseguests to comment on how the slurs made them feel. Yesterday, on CBS' 'The Talk,' Julie Chen (who acts as 'The Talk's moderator) decided to join CBS in breaking the silence about the issue. 

Chen, aged forty-three, is of Chinese descent, and had no trouble admitting that the racial slurs The TalkGries made about Asian-Americans hurt her. "I have to be honest: it stung," Chen explained to her co-hosts on 'The Talk.' "Those things, in my opinion ... it felt mean-spirited. It felt ugly and it felt mean."

Zimmerman's hurtful comments were about African-American houseguests, while Gries has been caught on camera sardonically impersonating an Asian accent, telling Asian houseguests to "go cook some rice," referring to "slanty-eyed" Asains, as well as calling houseguest Andy "a queer." 

"I have to be honest, the Asian ones hit me the most," Chen continued. "It stung. I took it personally. I'm a human being. ... It took me back to the '70s when I was growing up in Queens and I was 7-years-old getting bullied, being called a chink. I thought, 'Wow, I haven't heard comments like that [in years].' 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. [Aaryn is] 22 and she's college-educated."

While both Zimmerman and Gries have lost their jobs outside of the reality series due to their shameful behavior, time till well how CBS intends to handle the houseguests on the program. Gries was "Head of the Household" last episode, making her safe from elimination. 

You can watch Chen's eight-minute segment on 'The Talk' below. Presently in its third season, 'The Talk' is a discussion program that links the issues of the day to parenting and motherhood. 'The Talk' was recently renewed for a fourth season, to debut this fall. 

How should CBS handle the racist and homophobic remarks on 'Big Brother?'

- Big Brother (US)
- The Talk
- Julie Chen

Written by: bad_subject
Jul 8th, 2013, 11:08 pm

Images courtesy of CBS


Message Posted On Jul 12th, 2013, 5:43 pm
Partial credits!

Level 4 (22%)
Points: 263.4
Since: 22/Aug/12
Message Posted On Jul 12th, 2013, 4:07 am


As a rule here at TVRage, we delete any comment that can be construed as malicious or offensive to certain parties. I wish we had a more sophisticated process to screen only problematic material, but given our current layout our only option is to remove the comment outright. 

Please feel free to continue commenting at your leisure and hopefully the issue won't come up again! 

Thanks for understanding. 


Message Posted On Jul 11th, 2013, 4:30 pm
Sweet, it's been forever since my comments on this site had been brutally redacted! (although the first and only time ended up being confined to mind (but it, too, exists!)) *** So, what happened? Did someone threatened to sue for what I said about George Zimmerman having changed his name to Gina-Martie (there was also mention of a dress, if I recall correctly); or maybe it was due to comments regarding the state of racial state in the State of Florida's policeseses? (Holly OT!) *** Well, maybe I'm going to sue, how do you like that, TVrage Staff? --ps my lawyer is a cat. *** Man, You/I am too sensitive!

Message Posted On Jul 10th, 2013, 8:08 pm
1. The show should do a better job psychologically screening these contestants. 2. Anyone who believes that CBS isn't milking this for all its worth isn't paying attention. 3. Foreclosure anyone?

Message Posted On Jul 9th, 2013, 9:35 pm
she also was saying how she was trying not to feed any black fish in the aquarium, really weird
Anonymous Coward

Message Posted On Jul 9th, 2013, 11:58 am
They should gather all the housmates on the sofa, show them all every racist, homophobic and misogynistic comment that has been made, then announce the eviction is cancelled and those involved in unacceptable behavior are all up for a double eviction with any survivors facing immediate ejection for any repeat offences, i'm pretty sure it would result in the whole rotten gang being shown the door in rapid succession without creating a need to alter the shows format beyond maybe missing a double eviction at some point later in the series.

Level 2 (53%)
Points: 145.1
Mood: content
Since: 09/Jan/06
Message Posted On Jul 9th, 2013, 4:22 am

A houseguest can be expelled from the house at any time Big Brother (Alison Grodner) sees fit, regardless of their position in the house.  If you break the rules, that's the ultimate result.

The article doesn't say if the two women involved have been issued formal warnings, but they probably have.








(Section 31)

Level 104 (92%)
Points: 180368.2
Mood: anxious
Since: 11/Mar/06
Message Posted On Jul 9th, 2013, 4:12 am

I was so upset I didn't realize that I had spelled her name incorrectly but I don't think anyone will care?

(Section 31)

Level 104 (92%)
Points: 180368.2
Mood: anxious
Since: 11/Mar/06
Message Posted On Jul 9th, 2013, 4:10 am

I personally think all of the comments made by Arayn were not only outrageous & uncalled for but very hurtful to thousands and thousands of people.  People who saw the live feed, people who have heard about it by word of mouth, people who have read about it and those that went to the Internet to see it for themselves.  It is too bad that this little ant is currently HoH and is safe & that Big brother & CBS will not just remove her from the house as it would cause even more controversy I'm sure.  However if she is not put on the Block this week & subsequently voted out of the House next week then I will not watch the show any longer this season!


I'm sorry about being so long winded about this issue so I will step down off of my soapbox now to let others say what they think of this entire mess as well & thank you for letting me vent!

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