Big Brother 22 contestant Dani Briones posted a long note apologizing for things she said that were broadcast on the live feeds during the season, including when she joined with Nicole Franzel, Memphis Garrett, and Christmas Abbott in insisting Ian Terry’s autism was an act and part of his “strategy,” as Dani said.
This public apology comes more than six weeks after she apologized to Ian in the jury house, according to Ian himself.
First, Ian told Kat Dunn on her podcast that when he saw what happened on the live feeds, “it stung. It stung a little bit.” He first said Dani “reached out, she apologized, I accepted the apology. It’s not like, Yay, okay, everything’s totally better now, all is in the past, we forget everything. It’s like, No, I accept the apology and I forgive, but it’s still kind of like broken a little bit. Time will tell.”
Kat asked if he knew what was being said behind his back while he was still in the game and living in the Big Brother house. Ian said he didn’t, though Nicole and Dani clearly did have a sense that what they’d said was wrong, perhaps because producers clued them in during private conversations in the Diary Room.
On the day Bayleigh was evicted, Sept. 10, “Nicole and Dani pulled me into the key room and they start saying, like, Hey, you know, I just want to apologize—I think they apologized, but like—we feel like you get treated differently, but we don’t want it to be that way. We’re sorry. Something along these lines. I was like, what are you talking about? What? I was like, I’m not sure what’s going on.”
“What is happening here? Did I do something?” Ian said he asked himself. “I thought I did something wrong. … I had no context for that conversation that was actually causing the issue. I thought it was because Nicole had a tendency in the house to …” be condescending toward Ian, including asking him if he needed help boiling water.
“I thought that’s what I was it referring to,” Ian said. “I thought it was something completely different, and then I got out of the house.”
In the jury house, where the contestants don’t have access to the Internet or live feeds, Ian said Dani immediately apologized at the first opportunity she had to speak to him alone in the jury house. “It was really sincere,” Ian said on Kat’s podcast, and came “before we even knew the extent of it. … I do appreciate that she apologized in the jury house before we knew the extent of the backlash.”
Dani’s apology for her ‘ignorant comments’
Dani’s apology, which was posted as an image to Twitter, starts with apologizing for “any and all comments that I made that offended anyone,” which sounded at first to me like one of those non-apology apologies.
But Dani’s written apology, while imperfect, ultimately seems very sincere, and I think it matters that she talked to Ian privately before she exited the bubble of BB22. That’s a clear indication that this isn’t just performance.
And in her written apology, Dani is very clear that she understands how her words hurt people:
“It doesn’t matter to me what I was trying to convey or what I actually meant, what matters to me is how I make people feel and I that I hurt people because that’s something I would never want to do intentionally or unintentionally.”
Regarding the things she said about Ian, Dani wrote, in part:
“I do realize that certain comments I made sounded like I was saying he was faking being on the spectrum and I need everyone to know that is not what I meant. I had very poor wording and that is my own ignorance and I’m very sorry. I would never discriminate against anyone who is on the spectrum. There did come a time in the house that I realized I was being too tough on Ian because he is in fact different and I should be more gentle with my words, reactions, and actions towards him and i will completely own up to everything. I’m still learning. I have personally spoken to Ian many times inside the jury house as well as after the finale about all things I said and did in regards to him in the house. I adore Ian so much and it kills me knowing I ever said anything to or about him that would either offend him or anyone else.”
She also apologized for unspecified comments she labels as “a microaggression.”
One possible example—again, Dani doesn’t say what she’s referring to—is when Dani said Bayleigh probably stole a jacket from Janelle, even though Janelle left the jacket for Bayleigh to wear.
“I also want to specifically apologize for every comment that I made that was a microaggression. I know I’m not just some ignorant white girl, but I also know that from time to time I do make ignorant comments and again, I’m still learning. I am realizing that I do have blind spots and I’m trying to recognize them so I can change. I am so sorry for any comments I made that were at all offensive and I promise you I will do better.”
At the start of her apology, Dani wrote, “My number one goal in life is to love others and spread love in all I do and clearly I missed the mark while I was in the Big Brother house and I am deeply sorry.”