Controversy is already starting for the cast of “Big Brother 16.” Caleb Reynolds, the 26-year-old Iraq veteran and hunting guide from Texas, is making headlines for some old Instagram comments where he refers to President Obama as a “Muslim monkey” and also drops the F-word when implying that he doesn’t agree with the gay lifestyle (photo below).
CBS hasn’t said anything about Reynolds’ comments yet. Executive producer Allison Grodner tells the Hollywood Reporter that “there are things to be learned from what happened and what happened to
some of the people who said some of the things they did last season,” but she adds that ultimately, the casting process was not changed after last year.
You have to wonder if CBS saw Reynolds’ comments during casting. Either way, his Instagram account has since been deleted by his family, who tell TMZ that Caleb is not racist or homophobic and that he wrote those comments two years ago, not long after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq. “A racist man doesn’t fight next to a black man for this country,” says Reynolds’ brother. Reynolds’ mom also tweeted a link to a video where a friend of Caleb’s defends him.
Caleb is obviously in the “Big Brother” by now and has no idea any of this is happening, but he’ll be in for perhaps a rude awakening when he leaves the house and finds his Instagram account deleted, since he tells Zap2it that the hardest thing for him during the game will be not being on the photo-sharing site.
“I’m an Instagram freak. I’ve got a fitness family on Instagram,” says Reynolds. “Quite a few people look up to me, a lot of younger people, as far as my diet plans and stuff. People talk to me all day, I get to interact with people and talk fitness all day. As far as not getting to speak to none of those people for three months, that’s going to be difficult.”
“Big Brother 16” premieres Wednesday, June 25 at 8 p.m. and Thursday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.