After a controversial clip from a conversation captured on the live feeds circulated on social media, the All-Stars houseguest was falsely accused of saying the N-word when talking about Black housemate David Alexander. Many fans thought they heard Memphis start to say the offensive word before fellow player Cody Calafiore cut him off. Some even started a petition to have Memphis immediately evicted from the game.
But in a statement to TMZ, a rep for the show said that after a thorough investigation it was determined that Memphis did not say anything inappropriate during the conversation about his opponent.
“Producers have listened to the scene using enhanced audio. Additionally, the Network’s program practices team isolated and played back the scene several different ways using professional, studio-grade audio equipment. After close examination, it has been determined a racial epithet was not said or uttered.”
The network also vowed to evict anyone in the game who makes racist or homophobic comments.
“Hate speech will not be tolerated, and those who violate the policy will be removed from the Big Brother House,” it added.
The network’s threat to remove players from the game is a change from how things have been handled in the past on the summertime reality series.
The series has a long history with inappropriate contestants, most notably during the show’s 15th season that aired in 2013. The controversial season featured several contestants who were caught on camera making homophobic and racist comments about gay, Black, and Asian housemates. While no contestants were removed from the show for spewing hateful comments, a disclaimer was featured at the top of each episode distancing CBS from the houseguests’ behavior. Host Julie Chen also confronted some of the horrified players on camera after they were evicted.
Despite Memphis’ all-clear, some viewers still want him out of the Big Brother house.
Some fans feel he has been targeting David — the only Black male contestant — all season. During his Head of Household reign, Memphis did nominate David for eviction early on because he didn’t feel he was All-Star material.
Others are upset that Memphis, along with Dani Donato Briones, Christmas Abbott, and Nicole Franzel, were caught talking about former housemate Ian Terry after he told them he was on the autism spectrum. Memphis went so far as to compare Ian to a character from a horror movie as he joked about his habit of rocking back and forth.