Julie Chen has responded to Aaryn Gries' apology after the Big Brother 15 contestant was evicted last week. Gries had been the subject of controversy after making racist remarks throughout her time in the house.
Following her elimination, Gries sat down with Chen for an interview. The contestant denied that she was racist and said that some of her remarks had been taken out of context. This despite the fact that fans could see the full context of her comments during the 24/7 online feeds of the Big Brother 15 house.
"I feel horrible," Aaryn Gries said during the interview. "In Texas, we say things that ... sometimes we joke and we don't mean it. And I really feel bad that this is how it's being seen and how I've come across to people. I don't want to be seen like that."
But Chen told David Letterman on Tuesday that she did not think Aaryn Gries' apology was sincere. "She seemed dumbfounded by her own words," Julie Chen said. "I do applaud the fact that she said 'I'm sorry if I offended anyone.' But then she talked out of the other side of her mouth, and she said, 'But.' Any time you apologize and there's a 'but,' to me it's not a real apology. She tried to justify it, and she said, 'But I'm from Texas, and that's just how we talk.' And I thought, 'The one base you have, you just offended another huge group of people. Guess what? Not everyone from Texas talks like that."
Julie Chen also told Letterman that she and the producers had no idea Gries would make such inflammatory and racist comments on Big Brother 15. The blonde famously said of black contestant Candice Stewart, "Be careful what you say in the dark, might not get to see the b*tch." She also told Asian-American Helen Kim to "go make some rice" and used gay slurs to refer to homosexual contestant Andy Herren.
"It was shocking and it was astounding to watch because when she first got picked to be one of the housemates, we all thought, 'Oh, she's going to be America's sweetheart,'" Chen said. "She's a beautiful girl. But you have to remember, it's people trying to get picked. It's kind of like a job interview; they're putting their best foot forward. And it wasn't until a couple weeks in the house that she said some pretty ugly things."
Julie Chen also noted that there has been progress in race relations over the past decade. But she found it discouraging that Aaryn Gries so willingly made the racist terms when she knew she was under the watchful eye of cameras. "There is a lot to be learned," Chen continued. "Still today, we think we've come so far when it comes to race relations and our views, but the fact that someone who is college-educated can move into a house where they all know ... they all know everything they say and do is being broadcast live to the internet and intentionally getting on the network broadcast, to say such ugly things? That's heartbreaking."
Watch video below of Julie Chen discussing Aaryn Gries with Letterman.
For her part, Aaryn Gries' mother has denied that her daughter is a racist. Elizabeth Owens even noted that Gries took a black guy to prom. A different black man, Shawn Onyechi, also told TMZ this week that he was Gries' valentine this year, though the two never dated.
"Aaryn's first true love was Cuban American, and she has cousins of Japanese descent who she truly loves," Owens told Los Angeles Times. "She has never discriminated against anyone for their sexual orientation whether within our family or not. Aaryn truly loves all people equally."