After Big Brother crowned Andy Herren the $500,000 victor of the 15th cycle, several houseguests found out the extent of the negative attention they received from their actions and insensitive remarks made inside the house.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the houseguests who made the biggest waves this season following Wednesday’s finale:
The 22-year-old Texan took the brunt of the flak after referring to several houseguests using racial slurs, prompting her to be dropped by her talent agency. With two publicists in tow Wednesday night, Gries addressed her actions in the house. “I definitely was shocked with how serious things were taken,” she told THR. “Some of the things were taken out of context but either way, I definitely regret saying those things. I never wanted to hurt or offend anyone, and when I realized how I had affected people, it made me really think about how I’m going about things. And I need to be more cognizant of what I’m doing and saying all the time.”
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While in the jury house, several houseguests gave Gries some credit for seemingly turning over a new leaf. (Viewers saw her apologize for some of the racial slurs she made in the house in one of the episodes.) “The jury house was amazing. These girls and I had a great time. We got along. Candice and I bonded and we’ve become really close friends. It all worked out and I’m thankful for every minute of it,” she said.
Gries revealed that her eviction on Day 70 was the most shocking moment of the season. “My eviction was surprising and I was shocked to walk out to that,” Gries said of the audience’s tepid reaction following her eviction. “I had other things on my mind so I was thrown off. I guess I can’t be too surprised though; I already had that feeling ever since [my remarks/actions were] brought to light. But I was wanting to talk more about my game than controversy.”
When asked about her firing from her modeling agency, Gries claimed she was already on the way out. “I was on the rocks with the agency before I even came here,” she said, “and I do have more opportunities, more agencies that are wanting to meet with me that I’m going to meet with [Thursday]. It’s all good. I’m going to move up.”
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She already has plans to use her Big Brother experience to help others. “I’m thinking about a book,” she told THR of potential upcoming projects. “I’m hoping to help other people learn from my experience and not get themselves into a similar situation. We’ll see.”
The runner-up on Big Brother lost her job at East Coast USA Pageant Inc. shortly after the season began after she uttered several racial slurs. Following the finale, she voiced regret over some of the “unruly” things that “came out” of her mouth. “I definitely regret that and [would] take that back if I could,” she told THR, adding that she will “probably keep a little low right now because of the pageant situation.”
Zimmerman called her firing “unfortunate, because pageant’s my whole world and so are the kids.” When she elaborated further, she admitted that “it’s a little tear at my heart a little bit because that’s my life. I kind of don’t know what I’m going to do without it.”
But she understood why the company did what they did. “I represent me and also the pageant corporation, and they have to back up their back,” she said. “I am a good person and I do have a big heart and I do work really hard no matter what I do. I’m always there for them, and hopefully when time passes, they might welcome me back. We just got to wait and see what happens.”
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As for the bed-flipping incident, Zimmerman was apologetic for her part in it: “Aaryn and [Candice] fought a little bit and Aaryn was my really good friend in the house and I tried to defend her. I got a little bit heated with Candice. Me and Candice talked; I apologized. I apologized to her mom. Candice is a good person and so is her family. She pretty much accepted [my apology], and I’m happy to move on and [that] we could become friends.”
Clawson’s employer, the Union Pacific Railroad, released a statement in early July distancing itself from him following some of his questionable statements, which included the use of the C-word. “I hope I continue working for them,” Clawson told THR. “After this, I’ve got a big mess to clean up back home with my home and maybe some people in my town, but at the same time, hopefully I can handle that with the grace that I handled being up on the block in the house so much. I just got to stay calm, cool and hopefully everything will work out for me.”
Like his fellow houseguests, Clawson — who made the final three — was apologetic. “I don’t have any hate in my heart. I try to be a good person, and I know there were some comments I said that got taken out of context or even the context they were taken may not have been appropriate,” Clawson said, adding, “I hope that the good I did this season outweighs the bad. … If I said anything that was bad judgment, I apologize for that. I don’t want anyone to think I hate a particular group of people or I condone a particular activity or behavior. … I’m kind of a jokester and I talk a lot, and I’m going to say stupid things — and that’s exactly what happened. I can’t blame anybody for it but myself.”
The luxury real estate agent received a rude awakening when she walked out of the house following her eviction on Day 77, when she noticed half the reactions in the audience were boos. That clued her in to how America may have perceived her during the season. Zuckerman’s aggressive method to manipulate others into doing her dirty work stood out.
“Bullying is a very hot topic right now, and it’s viewed differently by different people. I personally don’t feel like I was bullying anyone. I played a really strong game and I was loyal to my alliance. I’m a strong woman and that can rub people the wrong way, but that made me a strong competitor and that’s why I made it far in the game,” Zuckerman, who said she was a Type A personality, told THR.
“I am a strong person,” she said when asked if the person we saw in the house was who she was in real life. “I fight for my clients. I fight for what’s right. In the game you have to be more manipulative about it, but overall, I am a strong woman.”
Zuckerman was aware of the “smoothing over” she had to do. “I know I’ve offended people and I’m super apologetic for that. [That] definitely wasn’t my intention and I just want to move forward in a positive light. Do good things in the public eye and not be seen negatively,” Zuckerman said.