Matthews was sent packing from the house during Thursday’s live eviction, but now is branded by the derogatory and racist remarks he made about his fellow guests on the show’s 24/7 live feed. The remarks have drawn outrage from some sections of social media, although Matthews was also defended in some quarters.
The target of many of the remarks was Kemi Fakunle, a black contestant and the third eviction from the summer season. Matthew was confronted during his exit interview about remarks where he labeled her as a “bitch” and “dogshit.”
“I don’t think there was any personal vendetta behind saying that. My statements were playful in a group of people,” Matthews said. “I do apologize for what I said, and that’s very sincere. I think Kemi was, and is, a great person. This game, being in a 24-hour view of people, you say things. I wouldn’t say that I fully support the things that I said in the way that I said them. If I could take them back, I would.”
Matthews also had to apologize for a comment made about Isabella Wang, an Asian-American contestant who was eviction No. 4 on the summer. When fellow houseguest Tommy Bracco said “the proof is in the pudding” about Wang’s gameplay, Matthews quipped, “Rice pudding.”
“It had nothing to do with her ethnicity whatsoever,” Matthews said to host Julie Chen. “I appreciate that I get to voice that.”
Fakunie and Wang responded earlier to Matthews’s remarks via Twitter.
“I am extremely disappointed and disgusted by the behavior I am being made aware of that occurred thus far in the Big Brother house,” Fakunle wrote. “The degrading and threatening comments made by some houseguests and laughed at by others are outrageous and hard to see. I am saddened to be associated with such a negative display of human character and am horrified that this is now a part of my life story.”
Wang wrote, “Define people by their character not their ethnicity. Don’t label me.”
CBS and the show producers earlier issued a joint statement to People last month.
“We share some of the viewers’ concerns about inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, and producers have addressed specific incidents with the Houseguests involved,” the statement read. “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.”