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“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.