‘Big Brother 21’: Jack Matthews Responds to Allegations That He’s Racist

Jack Matthews’ reign of terror is finally over. That’s right, friends, he was sent home during Thursday’s live eviction and fans everywhere rejoiced. Every season of Big Brother, there are villains who emerge. Most of the time, the villain is someone who is aggressive about their gameplay and ruthless with who they put up for eviction.

Matthews was the villain for much worse reasons.

Why didn’t people like Matthews?

Matthews had gotten a reputation for being racist after he went after the only African-American woman on the show, Kemi Fakunle. His antics got so bad that there was even a petition created to get him kicked off of the show.

“Jack Matthews has said numerous racist things and has been very aggressive towards the only black woman in the Big Brother house, including saying he wants to ‘stomp a mud hole through her chest.’ He needs to be expelled for Kemi’s safety and to show that it’s not okay to be racist in 2019, especially on tv,” read the description of the petition.

Though the petition did not get Matthews kicked off of the show, it did get thousands of signatures and earn him a conversation with the producers.

Last month, CBS and the show’s producers issued a joint statement regarding what had been going on in the house.

“We share some of the viewers’ concerns about inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, and producers have addressed specific incidents with the Houseguests involved,” the statement obtained by Entertainment Tonight read. “However, there is absolutely no truth that the casting of the show is racially motivated, that the Houseguests’ behavior is predetermined or that the outcome is controlled in any way.”

What does Matthews have to say about his behavior?

After being eliminated, Matthews was asked about some of the comments that he made towards Fakunle while in the house.

“I don’t think there was any personal vendetta behind saying that. My statements were playful in a group of people,” Matthews said. “I do apologize for what I said, and that’s very sincere. I think Kemi was, and is, a great person. This game, being in a 24-hour view of people, you say things. I wouldn’t say that I fully support the things that I said in the way that I said them. If I could take them back, I would.”

He was also asked about a situation where he made a rice joke in reference to Asian-American contestant Isabella Wang.

“It had nothing to do with her ethnicity whatsoever,” Matthews said. “I appreciate that I get to voice that.”

Fan reactions

Fans, who mostly had been waiting for Matthews to be evicted, were excited to see him being called out for his behavior.

“A racist Big Brother houseguest actually getting drilled for the racist/misogynistic comments they made after being evicted from the house???” one person tweeted. “Happens a lot less likely than you would think. I wish they would’ve also played the clip of Jack saying the n-word.”

But others were upset that host Julie Chen used a racial slur during the exit interview herself when she said she wouldn’t “gyp” him of the chance to say his goodbyes.

“Uh. Julie Chen on Big Brother interrogating Jack about possible racially insensitive things he said — and then following up by saying they didn’t “gyp” him out of his goodbyes,” another fan tweeted.