Big Brother’s Aaryn: depressed, not racist, confronting bigotry, wants to travel, looking for a job in TV

It’s been just over a month since Aaryn Gries left the Big Brother bubble and discovered how the world felt about her words and actions and Aaryn says she is a changed person.

In an interview with the San Antonio Express-News, Aaryn said she wants “to travel around the world, experience different cultures,” but that’s not a ploy to be on The Amazing Race. Instead, she actually wants to “become more well-rounded. … I’ve clearly been living in a bubble, and I need to change that,” she said. That includes stopping others from saying offensive things: “I’m doing everything I can to change my actions and those of people around me. When I hear anyone talking like that, I correct them immediately,” she said.

That sounds great, but may also sound coached, and perhaps for good reason: She has Los Angeles-based publicists who “are putting together a hosting reel for possible TV jobs,” the paper reported, adding that Aaryn “also mentioned two interviews lined up for November: for a role in a miniseries and a small part in a feature film.”

But she doesn’t care that she was fired from her modeling job because of the things she said on the Big Brother live feeds: “I’m just a college student. Modeling was just something I did on the side.”

Other things she said: “I’ve been in and out of depression since the whole thing happened. … I’m not a racist in any way, but I know I said things that were insensitive and mean.” When people have recognized her, she said, “No one said anything negative.”

Finally, after Julie Chen interviewed her–a well-deserved confrontation that still managed to be quintessential CBS because Julie Chen and the producers/network let all the other cast members off the hook for the terrible things they said–Aaryn said, “It was really hard for me because I don’t have any hate in my heart for any specific race or sexuality. It’s really difficult to defend yourself — especially when you said things that were horrible.”


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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.