Being filmed 24/7 for a TV show, "Big Brother: All-Stars" may need to be mindful of what they say. Some of the show's cast members have landed in hot water after they were caught on camera mocking fellow contestant Ian Terry's autism.
In one clip which has been circulating online, Dani Briones and Nicole Franzel talked about Ian's rocking, which is his method to cope with stress. "Memphis brought it up yesterday, and I was like I don't want to be mean agreeing with this-because Memphis is mean sometimes-but he was like even when [Ian's] sitting there rocking, it's the same thing with me," Dani said. "I can't even look at him sometimes because his constant movement stresses me out. Do you feel like that?" Nicole was seen agreeing with Dani.
In another clip, Memphis Garrett repeated what he said about how Ian's rocking stresses him out. "He's just always around and it scares me," he spoke in front of Dani, Nicole and Christmas Abbot, likening it to a scene from horror movie "The Shining". "It's gonna be a nightmare of him rocking at the end of my bed," he added, while the girls were laughing.
The clips have enraged viewers, who took to social media to slam the contestants' comments on Ian's autism. Former "BB" contestant Janelle Pierzina, tweeted, "Instead of laughing they should be standing up for Ian. He has a disability."
Fellow former houseguest from season 8 and 13, "Evel" Dick Donato, asked in disbelief, "What in the f**k is wrong with them?" Season 18 and 19 runner-up Paul Abrahamian added, "[There's] a special place in hell for those who make fun of people with disabilities."
Season 15's contestant Andy Herren urged the show's producers to take action. "If production can tell houseguests to stop singing, they can tell houseguests to stop making fun of someone with autism. #BB22," he wrote.
"Big Brother" has not released a statement on the controversy, and the "All-Stars" cast doesn't seem to be aware of the issue, but some companies are already taking action. Olay Skin has decided to part ways with Nicole following her involvement in the conversations about Ian's autism.
"We no longer have a business relationship with this person and have no plans for future work together," the company announced via Twitter on Thursday, September 10. "We have zero-tolerance for bullying and we do not support the behavior displayed by this person."
Ian, who won season 14 of "Big Brother" in 2012, opened up about being on the autism spectrum when he joined the "All-Stars" season. "This is like autistic hell, and I mean, you know, you can tell right?" he said of living in the "Big Brother" house. "I'm autistic…I gave up on trying to hide it."