Julie Chen: Aaryn Gries was supposed to be 'America's sweetheart' on 'Big Brother'
"It's been a very hectic, controversial summer for the show. ... She's 22, she's college-educated. It was shocking and it was astounding to watch because when she first got picked to be one of the housemates, we all thought, 'Oh, she's going to be America's sweetheart.' She's a beautiful girl," says Chen. "But you have to remember, it's people trying to get picked. It's kind of like a job interview, they're putting their best foot forward. And it wasn't until a couple weeks in the house that she said some pretty ugly things."
"There is a lot to be learned. Still today, we think we've come so far when it comes to race relations and our views, but the fact that someone who is college-educated can move into a house where they all know ... they all know everything they say and do is being broadcast live to the internet and intentionally getting on the network broadcast, to say such ugly things? That's heartbreaking," Chen continues.
"It was awkward last Thursday night because this lady that you speak of got evicted from the house. ... I had to just put on my journalist hat and play it straight down the middle and read it back, verbatim, her words. ... She did apologize. She seemed dumbfounded by her own words. I do applaud the fact that she said 'I'm sorry if I offended anyone. But then she talked out of the other side of her mouth and she said, 'But.' Any time you apologize and there's a 'but,' to me, it's not a real apology.
She tried to justify it and she said, 'But I'm from Texas and that's just how we talk,' and I thought, 'The one base you have, you just offended another huge group of people. Guess what? Not everyone from Texas talks like that," says Chen.
Letterman pipes up, "The one thing about freedom of speech, it takes care of dumb people."
Meanwhile, Aaryn's mother has released a statement apologizing for her daughter's words but also lambasting Chen for choosing to "attack Aaryn" during her eviction interview last week.
Do you think that's what happened?