Netflix's popular reality series The Circle has been releasing new Season 2 episodes weekly, and fans already have found the sophomore season to generally be a step up from the first. Part of that positivity is due to the cast being a bit more into playing the game than playing nice, though unlike Season 1, one of the contestants has garnered some controversy online with some allegedly not-so-nice behavior. Season 2's Mitchell Eason, whose mother Tammy and brother Ed competed in The Circle Season 1, has come under fire after allegations surfaced online painting him in a racist light.
The behind-the-scenes drama initially started when a picture surfaced online supposedly taken from a live stream that allegedly occurred some years ago when Mitchell Eason, now 22 years old, was still in high school. The picture, which showed what appears to be a younger Eason in front of a large confederate flag that was hanging on a wall in the background. That post can be found below.
Obviously, the Confederate flag has long been a controversial symbol in American history, and has often been connected to people who hold racist viewpoints. While some have argued that the flag is a symbol expressing pride in Southern heritage, Mitchell Eason was born and raised in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, which would seemingly negate any attempts to use regional semantics as his argument.
After the still-unconfirmed picture surfaced, one Twitter user appeared online and alleged to have known Mitchell Eason from their respective high school days. In a series of tweets (condensed for length and clarity below), he went on not only to allege that Eason was racist in his teen years, but that he was also homophobic at the time.
This is Mitchell Eason who is on the most recent season of The Circle on Netflix. This is a screenshot of a live he did in his bedroom a few years ago. Unfortunately, I went to high school with him and he was known for being a homophobic racist confederate redneck...Everyone knew he was a homophobic confederate piece of shit, he had the flags on his truck as well. DO BETTER NETFLIX!! Why does Netflix not do in depth background checks before they give these people such a big platform?!. . . I experienced his homophobia first hand multiple times throughout high school.
The accuser above expressed disbelief that Mitchell Eason could possibly find such a large platform during a time of more diversity and inclusivity on TV. At the time of this writing, Eason has not publicly commented about either the picture and allegations that hit the web, though he has shared unrelated online posts in the time after the claims first circulated.
Whether the claims against Mitchell Eason are true or not, The Circle would not be the first major reality show to let a problematic contestant through the audition process, accidentally or otherwise. The Bachelor, Big Brother, and an unfortunate number of other major reality shows have faced similar situations happen in the past, and it's almost always a question of whether contestants were properly screened prior to being given a platform and potential influencer status by appearing on heavily publicized series.
The Circle releases new episodes on Netflix on Wednesday mornings, with the finale airing on May 5. Aside from the controversy, the season has been great thus far. Those who haven't been watching the season should certainly make it a priority to catch up and check out what other cool stuff is headed to Netflix in the near future.