Big Brother 25 addressed the removal of houseguest Luke Valentine after he dropped a racial slur on the live feeds.
“It has been an emotional 24 hours in the Big Brother house as the houseguests learned that one of their own broke the Big Brother code of conduct and was removed from the game,” Julie Chen Moonves announced in the Thursday, August 10 episode.
Big Brother then showed the conversation that made headlines between Luke, 30, Cory Wurtenberger, Hisam Goueli and Jared Fields, in which Luke casually dropped the N-word while in the Cheese Room. Following the interaction, Luke was called into the Diary Room and did not return. Later, Head of Household Reilly Smedley shared a message from production to her fellow houseguests.
“Due to violating the Big Brother code of conduct by using a racial slur, Luke has been removed from the house,” she read aloud. “The game goes on and the live vote will continue as scheduled.”
The message shocked several houseguests — as some were seemingly unaware of the situation that took place. Cory, 21, recounted the details of the interaction. Meanwhile, Hisam, 45, claimed to not hear what Luke said, despite looking shocked on the live feeds when it occurred. Jared, 25, shared in a confessional he hoped it was a “learning experience” for Luke.
The players proceeded with the eviction vote and were tasked with choosing between Kirsten Elewin and Felicia Cannon. Kirsten, 25, was unanimously voted out of the game.
During Kirsten’s end-of-game chat with Chen Moonves, 53, the talk show host revealed that there was a secret relationship in the house and revealed that Jared is the son of houseguest — and Survivor legend — Cirie Fields.
At the end of the episode, Chen Moonves revealed the live feeds — which have been down since Wednesday — would return late. She also teased another twist was in the works for the houseguest, which will be revealed on the Sunday episode. However, when Chen Moonves signed off and said goodbye to the houseguests, they all mysteriously vanished.
One day before Luke’s fate was addressed on the show and shared with the other contestants, CBS announced that Luke had broken the game’s “code of conduct.”
“Luke violated the BIG BROTHER code of conduct and there is zero tolerance in the house for using a racial slur,” CBS and producers told Us Weekly in a statement on Wednesday, August 9. “He has been removed from the house. His departure will be addressed in Thursday night’s show.”
Fans of Big Brother weren’t the only ones shocked by Luke’s word choice. After Luke casually dropped the slur, the slip-up resulted in shocking stares from Cory and Hisam Luke apologized directly to Jared, who is Black, but the exterminator brushed it off and said he didn’t care. Jared is one of the five Black houseguests competing on this season including Mecole Hayes, Kirsten, Cirie, 53 and Felicia, 63.
After CBS revealed its decision to remove Luke from the show, fans and several former houseguests applauded the decision.
“YEARS of problematic behavior and language in the Big Brother house going unpunished led to fans and former houseguests speaking up, and today CBS *finally* listened and did the right thing instead of covering it up,” Big Brother 15 winner Andy Herren tweeted on Wednesday. “This is huge and will change things moving forward!”
Aaryn, now 32, referred to Asian people as “squinty-eyed,” called fellow Black houseguest Candice Stewart “Aunt Jemima” and told her Korean housemate Helen Kim to “go make some rice.” Meanwhile, Spencer, now 41, praised Adolf Hitler’s speaking abilities while GinaMarie, now 42, made fun of Candice’s skin tone.
While all three faced backlash during — and after — the show, none of them were expelled from the game.
Big Brother airs on CBS Wednesdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. ET and Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.