Time to reflect. Big Brother alum Dani Briones issued a public apology after coming under fire for her actions during this summer’s All-Stars season.
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“I want to apologize for any and all comments that I made that offended anyone while on Big Brother. My number one goal in life is to love others and spread love in all I do and clearly I missed the mark while I was in the Big Brother house and I am deeply sorry,” the 34-year-old began in a lengthy statement posted to her Twitter account on Tuesday, November 17.
Briones acknowledged that while the “idea and concept of the show is to lie and manipulate people all while getting close to them,” she believes it is an “unrealistic way of living” that can lead contestants to say things that would normally be “out of character” for them outside of the Big Brother house.
“I am not going to sit here and make excuses, I am here to say I’m sorry,” she continued. “It doesn’t matter to me what I was trying to convey or what I actually meant, what matters to me is how I make people feel and that I hurt people because that’s something I would never want to do intentionally or unintentionally.”
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The Huntington Beach, California, native went on to specifically apologize to Ian Terry, whom she and her All-Stars housemates Nicole Franzel, Christmas Abbott and Memphis Garrett mocked for having autism. Briones said on the live feeds in September that she “can’t even look at [Terry] sometimes because [of] his constant movement,” while Garrett, 37, compared Terry’s demeanor to a horror movie as Franzel, 28, and Abbott, 38, laughed.
“I don’t see Ian as different, I see him as an equal or even as someone who is above me as he has an intelligence that I cannot completely grasp on his level,” Briones wrote on Tuesday. “My sense of humor can be very dry and brash and I joke around a lot with and about people I like, and so I would joke around about Ian as I saw him as an equal.”
In response to viewers who slammed her for suggesting that Terry, 29, “was faking being on the spectrum,” she admitted she “had very poor wording” and copped to her “ignorance” with the situation.
“I would never discriminate against anyone who is on the spectrum,” Briones insisted. “There did come a time in the house that I realized I was being too tough on Ian because he is in fact different and I should be more gentle with my words, reactions, and actions towards him and i will completely own up to everything. I’m still learning.”
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The Big Brother 8 runner-up told fans that she privately apologized to the season 14 winner in the jury house and after the October 28 finale. She also expressed regret over her microaggressive behavior toward her Black housemates Da’Vonne Rogers and Bayleigh Dayton.
“I am realizing that I do have blind spots and I’m trying to recognize them so I can change,” she concluded. “I am so sorry for any comments I made that were at all offensive and I promise you I will do better.”
Janelle Pierzina, Kaysar Ridha and Paul Abrahamian were among the Big Brother alums who rushed to Terry’s defense via social media after the scandal made headlines.
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