Julie Chen Gets Emotional Over Big Brother Transgender Houseguest on The Talk

Julie Chen speaks about Big Brother's transgender houseguest
Julie Chen got emotional on The Talk on Wednesday, June 17, while discussing the first transgender houseguest to ever appear on Big Brother in the upcoming Season 17 -- watch here. 

Open minds. Big Brother host Julie Chen got emotional on the Wednesday, June 17, episode of The Talk while discussing the first transgender houseguest to ever appear on the series in the upcoming 17th season.

“You’re going to see something that you’ve never seen before in the Big Brother house,” Chen, 45, explained to her fellow co-hosts. “That saying holds true for me and the rest of the Big Brother staff.” The CBS personality then told the audience about the transgender woman named Audrey Middleton — who was confirmed as a cast member to Us Weekly on Tuesday — and played her introductory reel.

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“My name is Audrey. I’m 25. I’m a digital media consultant and I’m from a little charming town from northwest Georgia,” Middleton shared. “I think that I’m bringing in a very versatile perspective of a character that hasn’t been brought before… I think there’s a chance I’m going to be a misunderstood hero. But I’m going to be a hero.”

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Chen was so thankful to her fellow co-hosts and the audience for their warm reception of Audrey.

“Let me just say this to all of you ladies here at the table. Let me say this to everybody watching out there,” Chen noted on Wednesday. “Audrey told us she is planning on telling everyone in the Big Brother house that she is transgender. When she and all the other houseguests meet each other for the first time on the premiere night… When all of the houseguests are being sequestered as they always are at this stage of the game.”

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audrey middleton
Audrey Middleton, Big Brother’s first transgender houseguest Sonja Flemming/CBS

Chen then visibly got emotional as she shared her hopes with viewers. “For me personally and to anyone watching the game, I hope you watch with compassion and an open mind, to learn something about a community that you may not be familiar with,” she said with tears in her eyes. “This is Audrey’s story to tell and I’m looking forward to hearing it next Wednesday.”

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Middleton, whose addition to Big Brother comes two months after Caitlyn Jenner‘s revelation that she identifies as a woman, will be living with a mixed bag of houseguests. They include a poker dealer, supermarket cashier, and professional wrestler.

The two-night premiere of Big Brother 17 will air on June 24 and 25 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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