Big Brother All-Stars' Nicole Franzel Loses Sponsorship After Contestants Were Caught Mocking Autistic Houseguest
Warning! The following contains spoilers from Big Brother All-Stars' live feeds as of Wednesday, September 9. Read at your own risk.
Big Brother All-Stars has been a fairly predictable romp thus far, which can be attributed to the fact that most of these houseguests generally understand how to play the safest game. House fights and surprises have been few and far between, but on the heels of the house's first big fight comes a controversy that cost Nicole Franzel a sponsorship from a major brand.
The incident began Tuesday night when Dani Briones and Nicole Franzel (who was already in a rough spot with fans) were in bed talking about how autistic houseguest Ian Terry can stress them out with his rocking and other stimming motions. The two agreed that it made them uncomfortable, but it was when Christmas Abbott and Memphis Garrett joined the conversation that things really kicked into gear. Memphis referenced that Ian's rocking reminded him of Danny Torrance from The Shining, and implied being around Ian may give him nightmares.
The moment drew immediate criticism with fans, and former Big Brother players have openly voiced their displeasure for this moment and the continued mockery of Ian Terry's autism by the group. As mentioned, even sponsors that fund these players on social media are taking notice, and Nicole Franzel has lost a sponsorship with Olay.
Former houseguests are already speaking out on the controversy, and have voiced their displeasure that the Big Brother production team doesn't seem to have alerted houseguests that it needs to end. It's not uncommon for production to issue houseguests warnings for speaking inappropriately or engaging in activity that causes a mass negative response, sometimes if only to alert them that they're making headlines for these comments. The mockery has little to do with how the players will play the game, which has former winners wanting the houseguests to be told that what they're doing is not okay.
Ian Terry did open up about his autism in the house and confirmed to members of the Big Brother All-Stars cast in the opening week that he is on the spectrum. It's unknown if the houseguests in question are aware of this, though audiences know that Nicole Franzel has made a "Final 2" deal with Ian. The two are the only former winners who are a part of Big Brother All-Stars and were close in the house until recently. The recent distance is seemingly unrelated to this drama, and it's not clear whether or not Ian is aware he was mocked by other houseguests this season.
The sad news is it seems there's no winning for Ian Terry, who caught the wrath of Memphis Garrett again after looking too chipper that day. Ian had been medically ruled out of the veto competition due to health concerns a couple of days prior, and the same houseguests plus Cody Calafiore began mocking the sudden change in his attitude.
Hopefully, Big Brother All-Stars uses this as a learning experience and allows all houseguests a chance to redeem themselves by addressing their objectionable comments in light of the controversy. Shows like Survivor have found real opportunities for growth in situations like this, so hopefully, Big Brother can do the same.
Big Brother All-Stars airs on CBS Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the season and for the latest happening in television and movies.
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