Big Brother 25 contestant Luke Valentine expelled after using N-word on show’s 24-hour live feed

White contestant used the racial slur in a conversation with other houseguests

Tom Murray,Inga Parkel
Thursday 10 August 2023 05:22 BST
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Big Brother 25 contestant Luke Valentine has been expelled from the reality show’s US edition after he was caught using a racial slur on the show’s 24-hour live feed.

30-year-old illustrator Valentine who is white, dropped the N-word during a conversation with fellow contestants Jared Fields, Cory Wurtenberger and Hisam Goueli on Tuesday (8 August) night.

“We were in the f***ing cheese room, n****,” Valentine is heard saying before catching himself and saying: “I’m sorry.”

“Luke violated the Big Brother code of conduct and there is zero tolerance in the house for using a racial slur. He has been removed from the house,” CBS said in a statement to The Independent on Wednesday. “His departure will be addressed in Thursday night’s show.”

The reality show faced immediate backlash after a clip of the moment was shared on social media.

“Production should remove Luke. Set an example. Show current and future players that language like that will not be tolerated,” Andy Herren, who won the US show’s 15th season wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“Production loves hiding racism and homophobia and transphobia when straight white men are involved. Hoping they actually do the right thing and address Luke’s comment. The way it so casually came out of his mouth is really upsetting.”

Valentine is not Big Brother’s first problematic contestant. Memphis Garrett, from season 22, had been accused of calling fellow houseguest David Alexander the N-word.

Following an online petition demanding Garrett be kicked off the show, CBS launched an investigation. However, after a review of the footage, the network confirmed he had not used the racial slur.

Just last season, Kyle Carpenter was evicted from the house for making disparaging remarks about race. A backlash also ensued after “microaggressions” were directed at Black contestant Taylor Hale.

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Host Julie Chen later addressed the controversy, saying that with the live feed, it is easy to catch someone “committing” these microaggressions that most people are not “even aware” they are doing.

While the show’s casting process remains fairly confidential, producers have said they complete “extensive” research into each contestant to make sure there are no red flags.

Ahead of the current season, executive producer Rich Meehan reacted to speculation that they purposefully cast controversial houseguests for entertainment purposes.

“That’s definitely 1,000 per cent not true,” he told Variety. “But we do cast a wide net of people from all different walks of life, all different upbringings, so sometimes you do get surprised along the way.”

Meanwhile, producer Allison Grodner added: “It’s a social experiment using a group of people with different life experiences. They all bring that in and learn from each other. They learn, they change, they grow. Hopefully, by watching that, we’re also making a positive impact on the outside world.”

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