Openly Gay Contestant Wins ’Big Brother 15’
Openly gay contestant Andy Herren won CBS’s controversial reality show "Big Brother" season 15 On Wednesday night, just days after it was reported that he was fired from his real-life job.
Herren was crowned the winner and nabbed the $500,000 grand prize, beating out finalists GinaMarie Zimmerman, who took home $50,000 for placing second, and Spencer Clawson, who came in third.
The 15th installment of the hit reality show has been called the series’ most controversial season yet as a number of the "Big Brother" houseguests made racist, sexist, violent and anti-gay comments, which were aired online via the show’s live feeds. Fans of the show can subscribe to the 24/7 live feeds, allowing them to watch the players’ every move. As a result, some contestants’ real-life employers have fired them, including Zimmerman, who was let go from her job as a pageant coordinator in July.
Earlier this week, Herren, who is the first out player to win "Big Brother," was reportedly fired from his teaching job at the College of DuPage, a community college outside of Chicago.
"Andy Herren has formerly worked for College of DuPage as a part-time instructor. He does not currently work for the College," DuPage officials wrote on Facebook. "Any behavior or language he uses on the CBS reality show "Big Brother" does not represent the opinions or values of College of DuPage."
But Morty’s TV, a popular "Big Brother" blog that transcribes the live feeds for fans, writes, "While in the Big Brother house Andy has said that he does not know if he will be re-hired when he gets out, if DuPage wants him, his employment would begin in January. It sounds more like Andy was working on a per diem, or more precisely, a per semester arrangement, and the college had not determined if he his services would be required in January."
Though Herren hasn’t been as direct with the racial remarks, he’s made a number of personal attacks towards fellow houseguest Elisa Slater, especially after she was evicted.
"I would punch her in the throat," Herren said soon after Slater was eliminated. Zimmerman then called some of the evicted contestants "biracial robots who aren’t human." Herren replied, "Yeah, the robotic biracials."
Additionally, houseguest Aaryn Gries was fired from her modeling job for her racist and anti-gay comments she made earlier this summer. Contestant Amanda Zuckerman also came under fire for making racial and anti-gay remarks. She complained about a black houseguest for putting a headband on her greasy, "nappy-hair head." She also referred to another black contestant as "the dark knight" and "the black mamba." She, along with Gries, referred to Herren as a "queer."
CBS officials have denounced the remarks and "Big Brother" host Julie Chen said she finds the houseguests’ statements "absolutely appalling."
The fired contestants did not know about their situation, since they were cut off from the real world. It’s probable they discovered they were let go from their jobs, and the public’s reaction to this season, last night after the show’s season finale.