July 03, 2013 10:20am PT by Philiana Ng
'Big Brother 15' Houseguest Dropped by Agency, Magazine Over Offensive Remarks
Big Brother contestant Aaryn Gries may be vying for $500,000, but her professional dreams have hit a wall.
The 22-year-old San Marcos, Texas, college student has been dropped by Austin-based talent agency Zephyr Talent and as a representative of Bella Petite magazine over slurs she directed at other houseguests. Some of her offensive comments have targeted houseguests Helen Kim, Candice Stewart and Andy Herren.
For example, Gries commented "Go make some f---ing rice" in reference to Kim, who is Asian-American.
"Aaryn, season 15 cast member of Big Brother, revealed prejudices and other beliefs that we [Zephyr Talent] do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by Aaryn on the live Internet feed to be offensive," the agency wrote on its official Facebook account late Tuesday. "Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by Aaryn, either on any live feed from the House or during the broadcast, are hers alone and do not represent the views or opinions of Zephyr Talent. Upon much consideration, we have decided to release Aaryn from her contract with Zephyr Talent."
The following morning, Zephyr posted a new message wishing Gries luck on her "future endeavors, and recognize that while not everyone will support our decision, we feel that this is in the best interest of our other clients and our company."
The statement continues: "While we disagree with Aaryn’s statements, we defend her right to make them; however, due to their direct conflict with many of the values we hold at Zephyr, we cannot continue to allow her to represent our company, nor do we feel comfortable representing her. We feel certain that there will be other agencies which will have no conflict representing her, and wish her nothing but the best."
Bella Petite magazine editor Ann Lauren said in a statement posted on the official website: "Like many of you, I was surprised and disappointed to read about the recent insensitive comments from Ms. Gries on Big Brother. I want to emphasize to all of our readers that her comments are absolutely inconsistent with the principles that Bella Petite is built on."
"As a result, I have determined that Ms. Gries is no longer a positive representation of Bella Petite's brand and Bella Petite will not be featuring her in any promotions related to the model search in accordance with the rules of our model search," the statement continues.
To be fair, Gries is not the only Big Brother houseguest guilty of making politically incorrect statements. (An online petition has been making the rounds calling for Gries to be expelled from the game.) Reality website Reality Blurred has compiled a list of some of the offensive statements the houseguests have made thus far, as witnessed by subscribers of the 24-hour live feeds on CBS.com.
Prior to the July 2 episode, CBS issued a statement distancing itself from the cast's remarks, which have made headlines the past few days: "We certainly find the statements made by several of the houseguests to the live Internet feed to be offensive."
Big Brother airs its first live eviction episode July 3. It is unclear whether CBS will address the houseguests' controversial statements during Wednesday's broadcast or on future episodes.