Big Brother houseguests under fire for mocking fellow contestant with autism: ‘It stresses me out’
Big Brother: All-Stars contestants have come under fire for mocking a fellow houseguest with autism.
Memphis Garrett, Christmas Abbott, Dani Briones, and Nicole Franzel were seen on live feeds laughing and making fun of Ian Terry, a houseguest on the autism spectrum, and his self-soothing technique of rocking back and forth.
Memphis compared Ian to the young boy from The Shining, mimicking the child’s ‘Red rum’ line.
‘It stresses me out’: Memphis Garrett was among the contestants making fun of Ian Terry on Big Brother: All-Stars
‘It stresses me out,’ Memphis said, adding it ‘scares me.’
He even said he may have nightmares of Ian rocking at the end of his bed.
In a conversation with Nicole, Dani said watching Ian rock back and forth stressed her out.
‘I can’t even look at him sometimes because his constant movement, it stresses me out. Do you feel like that?’ Dani asked.
Cruel: Terry was the subject of cruel jokes made by Big Brother contestants making fun of his autism self-soothing techniques
The others could be seen laughing as the bullying continued
‘Yeah I do sometimes,’ Nicole replied.
‘I feel mean saying that, but I’ll literally have to move to a point where I can’t see him out of my peripheral vision,’ Dani continued.
The comments were made behind Ian’s back, but many Twitter users took offense to the remarks.
Bullying: He even said he may have nightmares of Ian rocking at the end of his bed
‘Disappointed’: Big Brother viewers were offended by the comments contestants made
‘Memphis, Dani, Nicole, and Christmas y’all need to GO!!!! Laughing at man for his autism is a BIG PROBLEM! As a father of a wonderful autistic boy, I do not stand for any type of bullying. This is complete garbage and needs to be addressed publicly. Do better!’ tweeted @MannyLemus81.
‘Not cool. I love Ian. He opened up about being on the spectrum and this is what he gets!?’ tweeted @JodisBox.
‘Disappointed = understatement. #BBAllStars contestants openly mock #IanTerry for his autism and self soothing behaviors due to autism. #danibriones #NicoleFranzel #christmasabbott You’ve been faves of mine for years Not sure I can watch anymore. I can’t let my son w/autism watch,’ tweeted @MonGrayRN.
Big Brother alum Kaysar Ridha was among the many taking a stand on the issue.
‘Inside the BB house reflects society’s failures when it comes to our handling of diversity. We could use a lesson in empathy & awareness. Ppl who are neurodiverse & on the spectrum should be protected not trashed. I have zero tolerance on this issue #BB22,’ he tweeted.
Ian has previously opened up about his struggles living with autism inside the Big Brother house.
In a recent episode, Ian called the competition ‘autistic hell.’
‘This is like autistic hell, and I mean, you know, you can tell right? I’m autistic… I gave up on trying to hide it,’ he told Kaysar.
In the diary room, Ian said he wasn’t defined by his diagnosis.
‘Being on the spectrum isn’t my identity. I’m a smart guy, I have a great family, friends, girlfriend, and I won Big Brother.’
This is not the first time Big Brother contestants have been slammed for making racist or offensive remarks.
In a 2019 statement, CBS and show producers condoned some of the opinions expressed by their contestants.
‘At times, the houseguests say things that we do not condone,’ read the statement obtained by Us Weekly. ‘We share some of the viewers’ concerns about inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, and producers have addressed specific incidents with the houseguests involved. However, there is absolutely no truth that the casting of the show is racially motivated, that the houseguests’ behavior is predetermined or that the outcome is controlled in any way.’
‘Being on the spectrum isn’t my identity’: Ian has previously said he wasn’t defined by his autism diagnosis