Usually the big event during the annual summer run of CBS’ “Big Brother” is the final episode when the last remaining houseguest who has not been voted out scores the grand prize of $500,000.
But in this 15th season, the anticipation is building toward another moment that may happen way before the conclusion: the exit of Aaryn Gries, the houseguest who has made several racist and homophobic remarks about minority and gay members of the house.
If and when Gries is voted out, the first person she will face is host Julie Chen, who has previously said she was personally hurt by Gries’ comments.
Because she and her fellow houseguests are shielded from the outside world, Gries has no clue that she has already lost her job at a modeling agency, and that her mother has hired a publicist to handle the potential fallout from her comments.
Although she is still upset by the comments, Chen said in an interview at the TCA press tour that she does not plan to “jump all over” the 22-year-old Gries when they talk.
“My plan is to have an open mind and to try and understand where she is coming from,” Chen said. “I want our talk to be calm and level-headed.”
Her exit will not happen this week: Gries is the “head of household,” which makes her exempt from eviction. The brewing controversy has given a ratings boost to the show, which was struggling in its first weeks.