SPOILERS ahead from the 2019 Big Brother 21 live feeds.
Jack Matthews is in the hot seat yet again for race-related comments made in the Big Brother 21 house. CBS isn't going to kick Jack out, but will he be evicted for it, or for anything? Honestly, probably not. But we'll see.
UPDATE: After Jack was evicted, Julie Chen confronted Jack about his comments in the house, including calling Kemi dogshit. He said his "stomp a mudhole" comment about Kemi was a take on what Sam had said last season. He said his comments were playful for a group of people. He also tried to clarify that his "rice pudding" comment had nothing to do with Bella and was connected to a slop recipe from that week. However, he did apologize for the Kemi insults, saying "I think Kemi is and was a great person. Being in 24 hour view of people, you say things. I wouldn't say that I fully support the things that I said. If I could take them back, I would."
Jack is currently on the block, and he was Head of Household Cliff Hogg III's target. However, Jackson Michie won the Power of Veto, and Cliff made a deal with Christie Murphy -- who has the Panic Power/Diamond Power of Veto -- so instead of Cliff putting up a pawn next to Jack at the Veto ceremony, Cliff did what Christie wanted and nominated Isabella Wang. Bella is now a backdoor target for the majority of the house.
So it's Bella vs. Jack for eviction this Thursday, July 25, and that's the background context for this hammock conversation between Tommy Bracco, Kathryn Dunn, Analyse Talavera, Jack, and Christie. Tommy says something about how the proof is in the pudding, and Jack jumps in with "the rice pudding." Tommy and the others tried to cover that with "the slop pudding," but fans noticed the not-so-subtle slur against Chinese-American houseguest Bella.
TMZ also picked up on the comment. It was not the first time Jack had said something like that, and apparently production talked to him about it -- yet again. Here's a scene with Christie and Tommy (who knew each other before going into this season) and Jessica Milagros, with Christie discussing the hammock conversation. She said "it was brought up," meaning by production in the diary room. When she mentioned the hammock talk, Tommy immediately said "pudding," which suggests he knew on some level that what Jack said was sketchy.
Tommy and Christie acted like it never occurred to them that Jack's "rice pudding" comment could've been taken "out of context" to be racist. The "Holly" Christie mentioned is someone in production, not the Holly Allen playing the game. So it sounds like Christie was asked to comment in the DR and she said she didn't want to comment on it because she didn't think Jack meant it like that. Which begs the question: How did she think he meant it? Is there another secret context to rice pudding that we don't know about? I'm serious. Is rice pudding some kind of in-joke with this group? 'Cause otherwise...
This is not the first time Jack has said something many viewers considered racist. Remember his conversation with Jackson Michie about David, when Jack dropped the n-word?
Jack also really seemed to hate Kemi Fakunle, repeatedly taking shots at her and at one point saying this:
Jack likes to pass off his comments as "just kidding," but his humor is not sitting well with viewers. Also, since Jack's latest comment was directed at an Asian houseguest, some fans are wondering how Julie Chen-Moonves will feel. She, like Bella, is Chinese-American.
And all of this ugliness is on top of the other bullying that has been happening in the house. Not to mention Jackson being on slop but still finding ways to eat regular food.
Some fans wanted Bella to be expelled after her fight with Kemi, but more fans would love to see Jack out of the house. Not only is he coasting at the top of The Six Shooters majority alliance, he keeps making these snide race-related "jokes."
Here's my question: Now that production has gotten involved to the point that they asked Christie about it, and she spread the news to Tommy and Jess, will they try to salvage their own reputations by voting out Jack? They know by now -- or they should, from this at the very least -- that Jack is not coming off well to live feeds viewers and now there's potential that it will be shown on TV. This is not the first time Jack/Jackson have been talked to by production.
It takes a lot to be expelled from Big Brother, and no one has been expelled to date for racist comments. Threats, on the other hand, are not OK but they usually give you a warning first. Bella may have also just gotten a warning after her fight with Kemi.
But you don't have to wait for Jack to be expelled if you want him out. Will the house turn against Jack this week and vote him out instead of Bella? Bella is no saint, and she has rubbed people in the house the wrong way, but keeping Jack around could be interpreted as being complicit in his repeated behavior. Is that something houseguests will be OK with?
Big Brother viewers have noticed that the minority houseguests have been banished and targeted for eviction in the 2019 season. David Alexander, Ovi Kabir, and Kemi were the first three HGs evicted and all three are not white. Cliff, who is white but also the only older houseguest, was the next evicted, and he won his way right back in after about 10 minutes and is now HoH. Now it looks like Bella will be the next HG to be evicted, and she just happens to not be white either, and also happens to not have the opportunity to walk right back in the door like Cliff did.
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Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.