Kemi Fakunle officially left the Big Brother 21 house last Thursday after failing to win her way back in the Camp Comeback competition. Kemi's month in the game was a tumultuous one, and led to widespread criticism by viewers who deemed the way fellow houseguest Jack Mathews spoke about Kemi to be racist and threatening. On Wednesday, Kemi released a statement on Twitter expressing her sadness over the behavior that transpired in the house and thanking fans for their support.
"I am extremely disappointed and disgusted by the behavior I am being made aware of that occurred thus far in the Big Brother house," she 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."
During Kemi's time in the house, she was the subject of many problematic remarks, including Jack saying he wanted to "stomp a f---cking mud hole through her chest." The way Jack spoke about Kemi became such an issue that producers had to warn him about his language. Jack has also been seen on the live feeds multiple times making racist remarks regarding other houseguests, including calling Jessica Milagros "consuela" and Bella Wang "rice pudding." However, very few of Jack's threatening or racist comments were shown on the broadcast episodes, inspiring live feed viewers to criticize the show for giving Jack a sanitized, sympathetic edit while depicting one of the victims of his bullying, Kemi, in a negative light.
Big Brother 17 vet Audrey Middleton joined in on the conversation earlier this month, sharing about her own experience in the game, which she called "completely corrupt." Middleton wrote that the Big Brother producers "protect the worst individuals on the show and undermine the edits of the minorities," adding that they will "discredit, sabotage, and exploit those who they deem lesser than to limit their voice."
Big Brother executive producer Allison Grodner responded to the bullying allegations in a recent interview saying, "The house dynamics in this social experiment are unpredictable and different every year as people align and realign. The bigger the group, the bigger the chance for some sort of 'mob mentality.'"
In Kemi's statement, she said that she appreciates the support she has gotten from fans throughout this experience but that she doesn't want to perpetuate the cycle of bullying any further. "I do ask that the negative comments that have been made in my defense stop," Kemi said. "I do not want to perpetuate the same negativity that I received in the house."
She followed this up with a separate tweet directed at some of the players still in the house.
TV Guide has reached out to CBS for comment.
Big Brother 21 airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9/8c and Sundays at 8/7c on CBS.
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