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Child porn jokes?? Big problems on 'Big Brother'

NEED TO KNOW
  • Child porn 'joke' latest outrage in controversial season
  • Two contestants already fired for racist comments on show
  • Cast is sequestered, have no idea they're being vilified
Child porn jokes?? Big problems on 'Big Brother'
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"Big Brother" contestant Spencer Clawson. His employer has already had to issue statements on two occasions distancing themselves from remarks he's made on the show.

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"Big Brother" contestant Aaryn Gries, who has been fired for insensitive comments she's made on the show -- though she doesn't know it yet.

As a rule, CBS doesn't tell its "Big Brother" houseguests about anything going on in the outside world. Nothing. The reality show is the only reality they know. Three years ago, a contestant had to wait until the season was over to learn that her home had been destroyed by a fire.

So when several controversial cast members from this season's "Big Brother 15" emerge from the house on September 18, they might be in for a, well, reality check.

Two female houseguests have already been fired from their respective jobs as a result of repeated culturally insensitive statements each has made on the show, according to their respective former employers. Now, cast member Spencer Clawson, a train conductor, has -- unbeknownst to him -- been investigated by police in his Arkansas hometown for comments he jokingly made about viewing child pornography on the show's 24/7 live Internet feed.

This is the same Spencer who, earlier in the season, praised the work of Nazi doctors who carried out murderous "experiments" during World War II, called Adolf Hitler a "gifted speaker" and referred to a gay cast member as "Kermit the F**."

On Monday, Clawson pretended to be cast member McRae Olson while saying in jest, "I like to [masturbate] to child porn. Did I ever tell y'all about that? I love it." McRae was showering at the time, and Spencer was speaking into his fellow contestant's unused microphone.

"Love it when they're around 3 or 4 years old," he continued. "My favorite ones are when you can tell they're in a basement."

Clawson's riff also elicited a response from his employer, Union Pacific, who said it has, "taken all the action it can under the Collective Bargaining Agreement until Mr. Clawson is released from the show. Mr. Clawson took an unpaid leave of absence to participate on Big Brother 15. Union Pacific has notified law enforcement of Mr. Clawson's August 5 comments."

"Law enforcement" in this case is the Conway Police Department who told Entertainment Weekly, "Our department moved quickly to look into the matter. At this time we haven't found that any criminal act was committed."

Still, none of this bodes especially well for Clawson's life after "Big Brother," particularly since this marks the second time his employer has had to issue a statement concerning his conduct on the show. After his Nazi remarks, Union Pacific sent out a release distancing itself from the views of its employee.

While Clawson's job status may be in jeopardy, there is no such uncertainty for now-unemployed Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman, who have delivered enough racist and culturally insensitive remarks this season to fill a human resources handbook -- and an online petition, which asks CBS to boot Gries from the show.

In one exchange which aired on the broadcast, Zimmerman said of a black contestant, "She's on the dark side, because she's already dark." To which Gries replied, "Be careful what you say in the dark because you might not be able to see the b----." Zimmerman, who until very recently was a beauty pageant coordinator, also referred to welfare as "n----- insurance" in a conversation caught on the live webstream.

Gries has also called a gay housemate "a queer" and frequently targets an Asian castmate, whom she once said should "shut up and go make some rice." Gries, 22, has also mocked the shape of her Asian castmate's eyes and seemed to be parroting a comedian's nail salon employee impression, saying "Why you no have boyfriend? It's because you don't want long nail." Many of the remarks were caught by the live feed, but compiled into a montage which aired on the show.

In a statement to HLN, CBS called Spencer Clawson's comments "repugnant" and a "horribly misguided attempt at humor" and told HLN they will not be aired on the broadcast. Attempts to contact representation for the competitors or receive comment on behalf through CBS were unsuccessful and will not be available until after the show when they are no longer sequestered.

The network's CEO, Les Moonves -- whose wife, Julie Chen, is is the host of "Big Brother" -- did tell reporters last week that "what you see there unfortunately is a reflection of how certain people feel in America" adding that he finds "some of the behavior absolutely appalling personally."

That opinion is shared by many people back here in the real world, outside of the "Big Brother" bubble, who now view Gries, Zimmerman, Clawson and contestant Amanda Zuckerman -- who this week said during an argument with an African-American castmate, "That's the Shaniqua coming out of you, I guess! Am I racist now? I'm racist now." -- as "poster children of racism and homophobia," in the words of one "Big Brother" fan site.

The sequestered surviving cast members remain entirely oblivious to public perception of their behavior as well as their very precarious employment statuses. This week, Zuckerman -- she of the "Shaniqua" comment and other insensitive remarks -- was nominated by viewers as one of three contestants to face elimination. But this didn't make any sense at all to her.

"What am I doing that people wouldn't like?" she asked incredulously. "I don't think America would put me up."

And if she's surprised now, just wait until she and the other contestants get back to reality.

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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