Big Brother Veterans Speak Out Against the All Stars Mocking Ian

McKenzie Jean-Philippe
·5 mins read

From Oprah Magazine

The controversy is ongoing in the Big Brother house. In the same week that Tyler came under fire for purportedly using the Black Lives Matter movement to appeal to nominees Bayleigh and Da'Vonne, fans are calling out more All Stars yet again.

From the early days of season 22, BB14 winner Ian Terry has been open about living with autism. He recently spoke to Kaysar Ridha about his experience in a touching moment captured on live feeds and later aired on the show. "This is like autistic hell, and I mean, you know, you can tell right?" Ian said of living in the Big Brother house. "I'm autistic...I gave up on trying to hide it."

The 29-year-old said in a later conversation, "It's unique, but it's a good thing...It's just a different ability."

One of his coping mechanisms for handling stress is rocking back-and-forth, but in a live feed moment that incensed viewers, Dani Briones was heard telling Nicole Franzel that Ian's rocking stressed her out.

"Memphis brought it up yesterday, and I was like I don't want to be mean agreeing with this—because Memphis is mean sometimes—but he was like even when [Ian's] sitting there rocking, it's the same thing with me," she said. "I can't even look at him sometimes because his constant movement stresses me out. Do you feel like that?" Nicole F., Ian's only alliance member in the house, agreed.

Later that day, Memphis mocked Ian and referenced the movie The Shining to describe how Ian "stresses" him out. His comments earned robust laughter from Nicole F., Dani, and Christmas.

"He's just always around and it scares me," Memphis said. "It's gonna be a nightmare of him rocking at the end of my bed."

And if you need yet another example of a third conversation where they spoke about Ian, you can watch here.

These comments not only irritated super fans, but many BB veterans took to their social media accounts in support of Ian and to condemn the All Stars. Katt Dunn from BB21 posted a number of links to resources to shed light on autism.

"If you’re on the spectrum and watching these clips, please don’t feel 'weird' or any less amazing than you are," she said. "Instead of crowding your timeline with more trash, I’m going to tweet out some other links with more important (and reputable) information for you to see."

And in response to a tweet in which Katt listed "strengths of autism," Kayar responded: "Thank you for posting this. People on the spectrum are some of the best our society has to offer. I’m mortified by the actions of these Big Brother houseguests. Before leaving I reminded Ian to never let anyone laugh at him. Ever. Period.

The season's third evictee, Janelle Pierzina, tweeted, "Instead of laughing they should be standing up for Ian. He has a disability."

Season 8 and 14's "Evel" Dick Donato simply tweeted, "What in the f**k is wrong with them?" Season 18 and 19 runner-up Paul Abrahamian said, "[There's] a special place in hell for those who make fun of people with disabilities."

And there was this comment from season 15's Andy:

As for Ian? Not only does he have a ton of support outside of the house from fans and veterans alike, but he is zeroed in on fighting to win $500,000 for a second time. After realizing that he's on the radar of the majority alliance, and a probable target in the coming weeks, this was Ian's most recent attitude towards the game.

And with that, we'll end on another inspiring Ian quote. "Being on the spectrum isn't my identity," he said during an August episode. "I'm a smart guy, I have a great family, friends, girlfriend, and I won Big Brother."

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