CBS Presses 'Big Brother' Contestant Jack Matthews On Controversial, Degrading Comments During Live Eviction

After a season full of controversial comments and fan backlash, CBS stepped up to address language on Big Brother that many called "racist" and "degrading." Jack Matthews was evicted from the summer reality show on Thursday night, and met with host Julie Chen Moonves to discuss his time in the house.

Chen Moonves didn't avoid rumors that Matthews was racist or problematic, and asked him about his behavior.

Chen Moonves' question pointed at violent comments Matthews had made about former houseguest Kemi Fakunle. "In recap, you called her bitch, you called her dog poop — you didn't use the word 'poop' — and we just heard you say you wanted to stomp a mudhole through her chest. Watching that now, what are your thoughts?" she asked, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.

Matthews addressed his words. "Okay, well, I will say that the 'stomp the mudhole comment' was based on something that Sam [Bledsoe] said last season when she was frustrated, and I don't think there was any personal vendetta behind saying that," he said of his language.

Jack Big Brother
Jack Matthews on Big Brother 21. CBS

He continued. "I think my statements were playful in a group of people. I do apologize for what I said, and that's very sincere. I think Kemi was, and is, a great person. I think this game and being in 24-hour view of people and you say things and... um, I wouldn't say I fully support the things that I said and the way that I said them. If I could take them back, I would, and I wish I could have articulated them in some other way possible. But it doesn't take away the fact that I don't think that Kemi is a wonderful person inside and outside of this house, absolutely."

Matthews also addressed a comment that many fans assumed was a racist insult. He previously compared Asian houseguests, Isabella Wang, to "rice pudding." "There was the slop thing going on and people were making different recipes earlier in that evening, mainly Tommy and Christy. And rice pudding was spoken about in slop pudding. And so earlier in that evening, rice and slop pudding were going, around so Tommy bringing it up in that situation made me say it there. It had nothing — absolutely nothing — to do with her ethnicity whatsoever. I appreciate that I get to voice me saying that."

Fans were happy to see CBS and Chen Moonves addressing the controversies head-on. A series of tweets from viewers and former Big Brother contestants applauded the decision but framed the channel and program have a ways to go in promoting inclusivity and making fewer waves in commentary and behavioral controversy.