Alleged racism and unconscious bias at the center of an emotional meeting and eviction on 'Big Brother'

·Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read

Prior to the live eviction on Big Brother, Thursday night, CBS aired a meeting held among the houseguests to openly discuss allegations of unconscious bias and racism from houseguest Kyle Capener.

In case you missed it, leading up to this week, Kyle made an assumption that the people of color in the house had formed a secret alliance, similar to the famous Cookout alliance made up of all the Black houseguests last season, and had thus attempted to form an alliance of all the non-POC members in the house to go against them. This, along with other comments, made #KKKyle a trending hashtag for the last two weeks.

This week, with his best friend on the eviction block and concern that he may be put up as the replacement nominee, Michael Bruner decided to bring up everything Kyle has said to the remaining Black houseguests – Taylor Hale, Monte Taylor and Terrence Higgins – which ultimately led to Thursday's emotional episode.

To be fair, upon hearing the information circulating around the house, Kyle immediately sat down with Monte and Terrence to have an earnest discussion about where he was coming from, took accountability for the things he said and admitted that he made a mistake. Kyle also recognized that he "needs to look at the core reason at why that was even a thought or a concept" in his mind.

Ultimately, the houseguests decided to call a house meeting to have an open conversation with everyone, during which, Kyle admitted that he has realized he has unconscious biases.

"You guys know I'm kind of a naive person. I've been living in a bubble. I've never been to a bar. I don't have these life experiences. I have these unconscious biases, which I do acknowledge now," explained Kyle.

While Terrence voiced his opinion that what Kyle did was very wrong, he also pointed out the fact that Michael and Brittany chose to withhold this sensitive information until it was useful for their game. Monte agreed as he stated, "If Kyle was saying these things two weeks ago, it feels a little bit hurtful to know that, like, it wasn't shared then. That part doesn't sit well with me."

"I'd rather jeopardize my game here in this moment because no one wins in this situation. Literally no one in this room wins. I'm so sorry," said Brittany.

Ultimately, Taylor told Kyle, "You know, Kyle, I'm not going to hate you as a person or paint you out as an intentional villain, racist, et cetera, et cetera. One thing I will say is that as a Black woman in this world, I don't get the chance or opportunity, privilege, if you will, to be sat down and walked through these things. I want you to understand that I can love you and accept you as a person, but we can also hold you accountable for unconscious things that have happened."

While the conversation was uncomfortable, Monte pointed out that, game aside, the moment was about them learning and growing together. Taylor added, "The hard conversations happen. The ugliness comes out, but what happens afterwards is what matters. And I love you, and I trust that you are committed to expanding. The only consequence I want you to feel for this, personally, would be eviction from the house. But if that's the worst consequence in your life, then that's that."

Kyle appreciated his fellow houseguests' understanding as he apologized and shared, " I appreciate your kindness and love and understanding that, like, I am an imperfect person trying to get better, and that's what I hope to do… I understand where my game is at right now. I'm going home this week. I've made a lot of mistakes in the past 50 days. I hope to take the next few days to get a little bit better, and the only way I can do that is if I have people that can help me in doing that, and I'm sorry… I have a lot of growing and work to do as a person, which I'm coming to terms with." And with that, the meeting was adjourned.

However, the week didn't get easier for Kyle as his showmance Alyssa Snider ultimately broke up with him due to the fact that he was "not somebody that I want to have babies with and imagine my life with, and I just feel like I deserve a little bit better than that."

Despite Kyle's fellow houseguests forgiving him for his mistakes, Big Brother fans were not as sympathetic as they took to Twitter making it clear where they stood.

In the end, Kyle was put on the block and evicted Thursday night, and during his exit interview with host Julie Chen-Moonves, Kyle claimed, in hindsight, he now sees what he did wrong.

"As terrible as it sounds, at the time, it didn't click in my mind, and after looking back at the multiple conversations with Michael and Brittany and the multiple conversations, you know, this week, I now realize how terrible that was and I should have realized it from the start. I apologize to everyone watching and everyone in the house," said Kyle.

Big Brother airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS.

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