Contestants on the US version of Big Brother are facing a backlash for referring to a contestant as “it”.
The live feed on Sunday on CBS showed Jason Dent and Cody Nickson, both conestants on Big Brother 19, sitting in a hot tup.
They were joined by Jessica Fraf and Matt Clines.
Discussing Season 17, Graf brought up contestant Audrey Middleton, who was the first out trans contestant.
“She was the first transgendered cast member,” Graf says.
Dent asked: “What the fuck does that mean – she was a she?”
Nickson replied: “It was a dude dressed up as a woman”.
To which Dent replied: “Okay it was a dude”.
At that point, Graf said they were “walking such a thin line”.
Later on the feed, Graf referred to Middleton using female pronouns, but Dent responded: “Okay but it was a he.”
Dent later asked: “Was it a he first, or a she first?”
Clines laughed at that point but said it was problematic that Dent had continually referred to Middleton as “it”.
Middleton responded to the controversy, writing a lengthy post on Twitter.
She said: “You are not born with emotional intelligence, you are conditioned to have it.
“The people who lack it are the one who are too afraid to try to understand what value it truly has. If you are someone who is radically opening yourself to things you will live the most purpose-filled life of all.”
The Washington Blade reports that Nickson, 32, a construction worker, has used the term “tranny” multiple times this season.
Ramses Soto, another contestant on the show who is openly gay, has not been filmed addressing the issue.