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‘Big Brother’ Contestant Aaryn Gries’ Mom Speaks Out on Her Behalf

Aaryn Gries Julie Chen

Recently ousted ‘Big Brother’ cast member Aaryn Gries, who came under fire for her repeated racist and homophobic comments, may think that’s what being from Texas is all about — but her mom begs to differ. That said, she also doesn’t hold Aaryn totally responsible.

“While I love and continue to support my daughter Aaryn, words cannot describe my disappointment in some of her comments made on ‘Big Brother,'” Elizabeth Owens wrote in a very lengthy statement to the Los Angeles Times. “These inappropriate comments certainly do not represent the value system under which her father and I have raised her.”

But she also defended her daughter, saying, “Aaryn is a young 22-year-old college student that has spent 70 days living in a fish bowl and making mistakes for America to see,” and adding ‘Big Brother’ producers and host Julie Chen gave Gries undue attention just to boost ratings. (It’s almost like she doesn’t understand how reality shows work.)

Owens went on to say Aaryn, 22, went to her senior prom with an African-American young man who was “one of her closest friends through high school,” and described her daughter’s friends and family as a veritable Benetton ad. “Aaryn truly loves all people equally,” she said.

As for CBS, a network rep issued a statement reading simply, “We believe the show has handled a very difficult situation appropriately, and that Aaryn’s comments on the live 24/7 internet feed and on the broadcast speak for themselves.”

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