Big Brother could have another controversy brewing. Two white female contestants on the 20th season of the CBS reality show were caught on camera making questionable comments about their “dark” skin, according to TMZ.
Big Brother 20 stars Rachel Swindler and Angela Rummans reportedly complained that the sun was making them too dark, and they described it as looking “ghetto.” Swindler reportedly started the conversation by saying her stomach is as dark as fellow houseguest Bayleigh Dayton. Dayton is an African American castmate currently in the Big Brother house.
But it was Rummans who made the most damning comment. Rummans reportedly commiserated with the Vegas showgirl by saying, “I know. I’m looking ghetto here with the skin coloration.” Swindler then added that if she is out in the sun for more than two days, she will “change ethnicities.”
The 16 Big Brother houseguests are on camera 24/7, so anything they say is picked up on the show’s live feeds. But these comments from the Big Brother housemates are a reminder of the show’s history with racist houseguests.
Most notable was the 15th season of Big Brother back in 2013. The controversial season was marred by several contestants who spewed homophobic and racist comments about African American and Asian housemates, putting Big Brother in the headlines and CBS in the hot seat.
Five years ago, the Big Brother backlash was so bad that CBS put a disclaimer at the top of every episode of the summertime reality show. Big Brother cast members Aaryn Gries, GinaMarie Zimmerman, and Spencer Clawson all reportedly fired from their jobs while they were in the Big Brother house.
Even longtime host Julie Chen, who has seen it all, was horrified by some of the comments made by that season’s crew, but she had to be careful about calling the contestants out on camera. In a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, Chen admitted that Season 15 was difficult for her to host because she wasn’t allowed to express her opinions when talking to the houseguests.
“The thing that was hardest for me to watch was overt racism in the house [in 2013],” Chen revealed. “This girl, Aaryn, when she was first cast, we thought was going to be America’s sweetheart, the gorgeous blonde from Texas. …But after a few weeks, that beauty faded and the inside came out, and the inside was ugly to the bone.”
Big Brother Season 20 airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS.