Memphis Garrett has been cleared by CBS after the Big Brother: All-Stars player was accused of beginning to call houseguest David Alexander the N-word on camera this week. As fans called for Garrett to be evicted, the network has come to his defense, saying in a statement that a review of the live feed footage showed he did not use the racial slur.
"The producers have listened to the scene using enhanced audio," the network said in a statement Thursday. "Additionally, the network's program practices team isolated and played back the scene several different ways using professional, studio-grade audio equipment. After close examination, it has been determined a racial epithet was not said or uttered. Hate speech will not be tolerated, and those who violate the policy will be removed from the Big Brother house."
Garrett was accused of using the racist epithet Wednesday night while talking with houseguest Cody Calafiore. While some viewers believe Garrett was beginning to call Alexander "an idiot" before being cut off halfway through, others claim he was beginning to use the N-word before being waved off by Calafiore. Despite CBS' reassurance, many live feed viewers are not convinced, with Garrett's Head of Household win Thursday night causing a stir on social media.
Wonder if Memphis will nominate Kevin & David or maybe mix it up at nom David & Kevin.. SO many options. Going to be a boring week. #BB22— Jason O (@TheRealJayO) September 18, 2020
This isn't Garrett's first controversy in the Big Brother house this season, having been criticized after making fun of houseguest Ian Terry, who has autism. Comparing his self-soothing rocking and general demeanor to something out of a horror movie, his comments were laughed at and piled on by Dani Briones, Nicole Franzel and Christmas Abbott. The conversation led to Franzel, a social media influencer, losing a number of ad partners.
Evicted All-Stars player Kaysar Ridha commented on the controversy on Twitter. "Inside the BB house reflects society's failures when it comes to our handling of diversity," Ridha wrote last week. "We could use a lesson in empathy & awareness. Ppl who are neurodiverse & on the spectrum should be protected not trashed. I have zero tolerance on this issue."
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