Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Most Controversial Big Brother Cast Members Ever

Big Brother contestants have been living an amped-up version of quarantine for more than two decades now. Sure, each season of the reality TV show is only three months long (for those who make it to the end), but it also locks 16 strangers in a house without even the relief of a trip to the grocery store. Discomfort and conflict among houseguests are inevitable, but some take it to a truly nasty level, sparking plenty of controversy along the way.

Each summer, CBS' Big Brother pits people against one another to compete à la Survivor for the grand prize of $500,000. The houseguests clash in wacky competitions that determine who holds power each week, putting their physical endurance, quick thinking, and penchant for being covered in slime to the test. They vote one another out of the house one by one, and the one left standing is the winner. Cameras watch over the house 24/7, but editors carefully craft the plentiful hours of footage into a TV-ready story each week. But, continuous live footage of the house is available for fans to stream, so nothing is truly private.

Sometimes, the constant surveillance reveals a side to the contestants that viewers don't like. There's no hiding the non-consensual touching, insensitive comments, or uncomfortable jokes. While most Big Brother seasons have a controversial moment or ten, these cast members stand out — in the worst way.

Justin Sebik of Big Brother 2 threatened a housemate with a knife

Big Brother has never branded itself as horror, but it certainly toed that line in its second season. The contestants were trapped in the house with the frighteningly aggressive Justin Sebik. The bartender from New Jersey threatened to punch several houseguests, peed on the windows, smashed a chess set, and made alarming sexual comments about his fellow cast members.

Still, none of that is what got him expelled from the house — not voted out, mind you, but removed in the middle of the night by the producers. Before that fateful night, they'd called him into the diary room multiple times to reprimand him about his behavior. During one on-camera interview, he recounted those conversations in a vaguely disbelieving tone: "It's always, 'Justin, you know you can't beat nobody up,' or, 'Justin, y'know, you can't like sexually force yourself on somebody,' or like, 'Justin, y'know you can't like intimidate nobody.'" No, Justin, you can't. But he did it anyway.

The final straw came when he was in the kitchen with fellow contestant Krista Stegall, who was intoxicated. Stegall and Sebik kissed a few times before he pulled a knife from a cupboard, held it to her throat, and casually asked, "Would you get mad if I killed you?" He held it there as they kissed again, but the producers quickly called him away, consulted a psychologist, and expelled him from the show. A few houseguests cried over his sudden exit and defended him, but many were scared of Sebik and relieved when he was gone.

Aaryn Gries of Big Brother 15 was blatantly racist

It's no secret that racism has been a big problem for the reality show. Several Big Brother contestants have spewed racist comments, but season 15, in particular, is famous for it — mostly because of Aaryn Gries. Throughout her time in the house, the Texan frequently tossed off offensive comments about Korean American contestant Helen Kim and Candice Stewart, a Black woman. To top it all off, she also directed some homophobia toward housemate Andy Herren, a gay man.

Her comments became enough of an issue that host Julie Chen brought them up during Gries' exit interview (via YouTube) after she was voted out. In defense of herself, Gries said that being racist is a Southern stereotype, but added, "That's not me and I apologize to anyone that I've offended for that." The audience, however, wasn't having it. They straight up laughed at her — in a complete departure from the standard clapping and cheering that usually accompany exit interviews. When Gries claimed she didn't remember saying any of it, she was met with guffaws of disbelief. When she said she was great friends with Kim and Stewart, the audience cackled wholeheartedly. Once she finished the show, her modeling agency dropped her (via The Hollywood Reporter).

JC Mounduix of Big Brother 20 touched castmates inappropriately

When the cast members arrive at the Big Brother house, they obviously don't expect to have any privacy — there are cameras everywhere except the toilets — but JC Mounduix of Season 20 took advantage of the close quarters and crossed some serious boundaries. First, he barged into the Head of Household room armed with an ice cream scooper and reached under blankets to use it inappropriately on several cast members, claiming it felt good and that he'd tried it on himself. Then, when some of the cast members were giving Tyler Crispen a massage, Mounduix walked up and casually rubbed Crispen's crotch, and he immediately shied away from the touch (via TMZ).

That wasn't far enough for Mounduix, though — he had to vault across the line of acceptable behavior. While in bed next to a sleeping Crispen, he kissed Crispen's armpit and rubbed his face and arm, according to Entertainment WeeklyThe next morning, Crispen complained to Kaycee Clark about how uncomfortable it was. That still wasn't the end of Mounduix's non-consensual intimacy. He then went and opened the restroom door on Haleigh Broucher and refused to close it, resulting in her yelling for production to stop him.

Fans were furious when Mounduix wasn't expelled for his actions and argued that, if Crispen were a woman, the situation would be taken more seriously. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS said that they talked with Mounduix, Crispen, and Broucher about the incidents but decided Mounduix could stay since the others didn't feel threatened by him. After finishing third behind Crispen and Clark, Mounduix said about the inappropriate touching, "You know we were super friends and super close. I can be a lot of things but I'm not a pervert." He said Broucher was completely clothed when he pranked her in the bathroom. Still, some fans don't think CBS took his sexual harassment seriously enough.

Fans petitioned to get Jack Matthews off Big Brother 21

Jack Matthews initially looked the part of a hero — with his striking resemblance to Jason Momoa's Aquaman — but fans quickly labeled him the villain of Season 21. Throughout his time on the show, Matthews made several mean comments about his fellow houseguests that fans interpreted as needlessly personal, racist, or body shaming (via The Oprah Magazine).

However, it was his attitude toward Kemi Faknule, a Black woman, that truly turned fans against him. Comments Matthews made about Faknule drove fans to start a Change.org petition to get him kicked off the show, garnering over 10,000 signatures. The petition said: "Jack Matthews has said numerous racist things and has been very aggressive towards the only black woman in the Big Brother house ... 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."

Ultimately, it wasn't the petition that got him out of the Big Brother house but his own dismal gameplay. Host Julie Chen asked him about his comments in his exit interview (via YouTube), but there was no disbelieving laughter from the audience this time. Matthews put on his best apologetic-but-still-a-good-guy attitude as he called Faknule a wonderful person and claimed he got "excited a couple times." Despite his effort to save face, Matthews left many fans with a bad taste in their mouths, which only soured further when someone leaked his racist text messages from a group chat, according to Screen Rant.

Matthews is certainly a big reason that Season 21 is largely remembered as problematic. It even haunted contestants during the following all-star season. But, despite the drama season after season, CBS hasn't gone so far as to cancel Big Brother for any of these controversies.