It seems the fallout continues from the racist, homophobic and generally offensive comments made inside the “Big Brother” house this season. Now we know that not only have finalists Spencer and GinaMarie lost their jobs for the slurs they made (jury member Aaryn was also canned from her modeling agency), but so has the inoffensive Andy. Yes, Andy [warning: spoilers ahead].
According to the Atlantic Wire, Andy has been seemingly lost his job as a public speaking teacher for the crime of not standing up to his fellow hamsters when they started tossing around the nasty comments. I’m not sure what Andy was supposed to do, however. Given that so many people made racial slurs (in addition to Spencer, GinaMarie and Aaryn, Amanda and Jeremy also made hateful comments, and I’m sure I’m missing some other hamsters in my headcount), was he supposed to stand on a table and make a broad statement to a sizable segment of the house? Kick them in the back as they were evicted? Pray?
This kind of public shaming has become pretty de rigueur for bad celebrity behavior. When Paula Deen’s racist comments were exposed, she lost her TV show (well, actually her contract ended and wasn’t renewed, but close enough). Charlie Sheen, Gilbert Gottfried and a host of others have lost their jobs or seen deals fall apart after saying the wrong thing in a public space (or just saying it to the wrong people, who then leaked it to the media).
Of course, celebrities tend to land on their feet. Paula Deen has already started her comeback, Charlie Sheen (who made the comparatively benign mistake of calling his boss a troll and a warlock) has a new TV show, Mel Gibson (who made anti-Semitic comments after being pulled over) has new movies in the works, and Isaiah Washington (who made homophobic slurs about his “Grey’s Anatomy” co-star T.R. Knight) has a new TV show (“The Hundred” on The CW). But what about reality TV stars?
Granted, Andy (whose offenses didn’t seem to warrant dismissal anyway — although one commenter below says otherwise. The live feed sees all!) won “Big Brother.” For at least a little while, he won’t need a regular paycheck. That’s probably not true for his cast mates. The question is, do they deserve to be fired for their behavior outside of the office?
Spencer, who was even investigated by police for making some very obvious jokes about child porn while in the house, seemed absolutely befuddled when host Julie Chen hinted he’d made offensive comments while in the house. GinaMarie, who was more focused on being reunited with her wannabe showmance, Nick, was likely shocked when she learned her job has disappeared. Whether either of these two will learn from this hard life lesson is questionable.
Aaryn, whose racist comments were highlighted on the show and became a talking point during her exit interview, may have gotten the hint. In her last few weeks in the “Big Brother” house, she seemed less strident and argumentative. During her stay in the jury house, she struck up a friendship with one of her prime targets of racist commentary, Candice. There’s a chance she’s just scrambling to play nice while cameras are still rolling. She may have learned nothing more than to keep her nastier thoughts to herself.
Still, it’s tempting to feel a little sorry for anyone who walks onto a reality show with the best of intentions and emerges to find they’ve become a villain in the eyes of the public. Of course, that’s a risk that comes with signing that reality TV deal with the devil. But the real question is if any behavior — or more importantly, beliefs — will change.
Aaryn may not have to play nice for very long, if she is playing. She claims that she has meetings with six new modeling agencies thanks to her stint on “Big Brother.” It turns out fame, good or bad, is still more important than behaving yourself whether you’re famous or just “reality TV” infamous.
Do you think Spencer, GinaMarie, Aaryn and Andy deserved to lose their jobs?