“Big Brother” Crowns First Openly Gay Winner, Says Ignoring Bigotry Was “Part Of My Strategy”

andyherren-300A record-breaking 90 days after 16 strangers moved into the Big Brother house for what would become known as “the most controversial season yet,” a winner was finally crowned on Wednesday night.

There was once a time when we didn’t care who made it out of the BB house alive, seeing as the majority of folks living inside were racist, homophobic, insensitive, or just terribly awful humans in general. But now that the season is over, we at least have one small consolation prize: Big Brother‘s first openly gay winner!

Andy Herren, the 26-year-old college professor from Chicago, made history this week by snagging the $500,000 prize by a 7-2 vote from his peers. Unfortunately, he’ll only be remembered for one thing: Winning the worst season of Big Brother ever.

Like a few of his fellow housemates, Andy was one of the latest to lose his job due to racial remarks he made in the house. However, it was his turning a blind eye to fellow houseguests constantly calling him “Kermit the Fag” that put the worst taste in LGBT viewers’ mouths.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter after the season wrapped this week, Herren  said he “had no idea [the season] was going to be so controversial,” and that ignoring bigoted remarks was part of his strategy:

I never ever wanted to be at the center of any trouble or any controversy. That’s why when some of the racist or bigoted things were said, I didn’t really speak up; I would pull the people aside and tell them that I was sorry about the things that were said that I didn’t condone. But a part of me wishes I would have been a little more vocal about how I didn’t approve of that.

When informed about the College of DuPage issuing a message saying his employment had been terminated, Herren said he’s confused by the message because he “wasn’t essentially teaching there” this semester. Also, he doesn’t think anything he said was too malicious:

If I lost my job over this, I’m going to be very upset because I don’t think I did anything to merit me losing my job. Sure, some of the stuff I said might have been ridiculous or vulgar but at the same time I did comedy and things like that so people understand it’s my personality. I never said anything that I thought was super mean. I mean, ughhh, maybe a little toward Elissa. I never said anything I thought was really, really malicious or hateful or racial or things like that, like a lot of the controversy of the season stemmed from. And I hope they understand that.

To read the full interview, head over to THR.

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  • Homophile

    Brian Dowling who is openly gay, won Big Brother UK in 2001.

  • Katbox

    @Homophile: Ben who is also openly gay won big brother Australia last year and Luke (a transgendered FtM) won big brother UK last year as well.
    Viewers vote, by paying ~$1 per vote, for who they want to win in the Aussie/UK version- so those wins are far more significant.

  • Katbox

    BB US sucks.
    Can’t believe people still watch it.

  • fredo777

    That is not any consolation, whatsoever, seeing as our “first openly gay winner” of BBUS was so hated + definitely did say some pretty shitty things during his time in the house. I’d much rather Kevin Campbell had won his season (BB11) + am still mad that he didn’t play the 3rd round of HOH comp smarter. He got a pretty easy question wrong that was about one of his closest friends (Lydia) in the house! Ended up w/ Jordan winning, which I was ugh about. : [

  • hephaestion

    I don’t think this season of the US Big Brother was any worse than other seasons. The contestants are always mostly bigotted boobs. But this season the straight male jocks were all voted out early, which was great. It was refreshing to finally see the houseguests NOT blindly following muscular straight guys telling everyone what to do.

  • fredo777

    @hephaestion: Instead, they just blindly voted “with the house” for most of the summer. lol

  • fredo777

    I have to disagree on whether this season was any worse, where bigotry + vile behavior are concerned, than any other season. I think it definitely was worse than others season I’ve watched, on the whole.

  • Kangol

    Andy Herren is not a “professor” but a part-time lecturer.

    I was hoping he did not win given his behavior all season long, but such are the vagaries of these reality shows.

    In terms of overt ra*cism and hom*ophobia, though, this season was by far the worst.

  • Katbox

    Trash TV is Trash.

  • bobbyjoe

    I’m not a big fan of Andy, but universities have been going more and more to “exploit the adjunct workforce” in the last decade or so (many universities now have shifted to close to a 70 to 75% part-time adjunct workforce so they can pay them virtually nothing, give them majorly increasing class sizes, not have to give them any health care, etc.).

    So when I hear this guy just won half a million dollars, the one thing that does make me happy is that he can laugh at the College of DuPage. Why on earth would he even want to go back to a job where he’s likely to have been treated like dirt, likely have no real benefits, and be exploited out the wazoo? The way they’re paid now, it’d take about 20 years for most adjunct instructors to make what Andy made in three months.

    And trust me, once the College of DuPage hears that Andy has half a million, they’ll come crawling to him on their bellies begging for that potential donation money. As bad as many of the BB houseguests were this summer, a lot of the American universities have allowed themselves to become so greedy and corrupt that they’re even worse.

  • Pistolo

    Even if you win Big Brother you’re still a loser.

  • jwrappaport

    That this is a successful show while Pan Am was canceled after only one season really rubs my rhubarb.

  • GlitterKidder

    Was being a douche part of his “strategy” too? He was good at that. Worst season ever!

  • tjr101

    The winners of shows like BB usually have the most undesirable of characteristics. Liars and manipulators win these contests.

  • seaguy

    @Katbox: Your lame comment sucks, can’t believe you posted it!

  • seaguy

    @Pistolo: Richer than you will ever be.

  • jwrappaport

    @seaguy: Eh, taxes will probably wipe out close to $125,000, leaving him with $375,000. That’s certainly a lot of money, but not so much that he’ll be richer than his critics will ever be, especially since carrot top lost his day job.

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