Earlier this week, veteran players Dani Briones, Nicole Franzel, Christmas Abbott, and Memphis Garrett were caught on the live feeds poking fun at fellow competitor Ian Terry. The Season 14 winner has been open about being on the autism spectrum and he often rocks back and forth as a self-soothing method during conversations with his housemates. During a discussion about Ian’s rocking habit, Memphis went so far as to compare him to a character from the horror movie The Shining.
The mean-spirited conversation was not shown at all in the lead-up to Thursday’s live episode and Julie ended the show with a positive message, as she has done every week all season long.
“Let kindness be the rule for everything you say,” Julie told viewers as she signed off.
While Julie’s sign-off may have been intended as a subtle reference to the mean-spirited tone in the house, after the episode aired, a flurry of fans posted comments to the longtime Big Brother host on social media as they called her message tone-deaf in light of what is going on this season.
In the comments section to Julie’s “Thoughtful Thursday” post on Instagram, which can be seen here, viewers begged her to address the mocking of Ian on-air. Some questioned the TV host’s empowering messages about kindness and spirituality as she helms a reality series populated with cruel contestants.
“The least you can do is bring light to the fact that it’s NOT okay for houseguests to mock an individual with a disability,” one viewer wrote. “At least talk about it on the show and allow the houseguests to recognize that their words and actions have an impact.”
“I’m so disappointed in you and CBS,” another wrote to Julie. ” The bullying needs to stop. …. All your comments are filled with people begging you to address the situation, I know you see them. You have the power to put an end to this.”
“So ridiculous and honestly embarrassing on CBS and Julie’s part,” a third viewer added.
While Julie has yet to address the disturbing live feed incident, others associated with the CBS reality show have. Evicted All-Stars player Kaysar Ridha has spoken out about the situation by saying he is “mortified” by the houseguests’ behavior. On Twitter, Big Brother legend Janelle Pierzina wrote that she is “absolutely disgusted” by her former housemates’ trash talk about Ian after he opened up about his autism.