MTV has taken swift action against Dee Nguyen for posting offensive tweets over the weekend about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
The network announced on Monday that it has “severed ties” with Dee, who is currently appearing on the currently airing season of The Challenge.
“As a result of Dee Nguyen’s offensive comments on the Black Lives Matter movement, we have severed ties with her,” a statement posted to the official ‘Challenge’ Twitter account reads. “Out of respect for our Challengers, we’ll air our season as planned. We strongly condemn systemic racism and stand with those raising their voices against injustice.”
As a result of Dee Nguyen’s offensive comments on the Black Lives Matter movement, we have severed ties with her. Out of respect for our Challengers, we’ll air our season as planned. We strongly condemn systemic racism and stand with those raising their voices against injustice.
— challengemtv (@ChallengeMTV) June 9, 2020
The statements made by Dee— who got her start on Geordie Shore and has appeared on three seasons of ‘The Challenge’— have been circulating ‘Challenge’-related social media for the past few days, with many current and former cast members weighing in on what she said and did.
For those who were not following the controversy, allow The Ashley to break down what happened for you…
Dee— who was one of the winners of last season’s “War of the Worlds II”— had been participating in her ‘Challenge’ co-star Wes Bergmann‘s “Friends and Benefits” show on Patreon. (Basically, Wes has gathered groups of ‘Challenge’ stars, put them into a mansion in Kansas City together and had their interactions– and charity work— filmed. The content is shown via two videos per week and through a daily podcast. You can read more about that here.)
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We have been kicking absolute butt over here at the Friends and Benefits house. We’ve yet to miss a daily podcast and have posted enough videos for you to literally binge once you sign up. Do so via Patreon: link in bio. This week we said goodbye to our first wave of people, and hello to our new wave of people. We’ve donated countless hours to charitable organizations across Kansas City; most of which centering around low-income neighborhoods and causes. You should join our community for a lot of reasons. We’re gonna make you laugh. We’re gonna kill off your boredom. We’re going to inspire you to take the path least traveled. BUT, if you don’t mind – let me share with you the biggest reason why I personally believe you should join. What we’re doing, and the speed in which we’re doing it is incredibly innovative. You’re flies on the wall of what it’s like to create a show, in real time. And speaking of real time, this is quite the intriguing time to be alive. It was hard enough to do all this safely from quarantine, but then you add in the rightful civil unrest and all of a sudden we’re documenting some of the rarest footage, from some of the rarest perspectives imaginable. We’re proud to say our team has slightly pivoted its community service thesis this week in an effort to support and empower the peaceful protests happening across the world, but especially in Kansas City. We’re doing this through a combination of digital outreach, but most importantly in various forms of volunteership that transpires the mornings after the protests themselves (which, if you’ve seen our stories, you know we’ve been to as well). Note to self, never bring a Ninja to a protest. We will continue to have a very diverse purview of which non-profits we empower, but I want to be transparent with you all as to where our mental focus is at this exact second – with our biggest push being this weekend in the wake of what will be Kansas City’s most organized peaceful protest, and the subsequent clean up. Again, link in bio. Enjoy binge watching and listening to almost 24 HOURS of exclusive content that can only be found on Patreon.
Anyway, on Saturday, Dee responded to someone’s criticism of her participating in the “Black Out Tuesday” movement. The critic told Dee to, “Wake up! People are dying.” Dee responded, “People die every f**king day. U don’t know me or what I do. I suggest you wake the f**k up and get off social media.”
She then posted a tweet that stated, “IDK why some of you think I’m anti-BLM. I’ve been saying that since the day I lost my virginity.”
That did not go over well with many of Dee’s followers or her ‘Challenge’ cast members.
Bayleigh Dayton— who appeared on ‘The Challenge’ for the first time this season— blasted Dee for her disrespectful tweets.
“This is not how you support BLM,” Bayleigh wrote. “I’m disgusted and disappointed. This is not a trend. This is life or death for us. Posting for clout about the death of black people? Shame on you #deenguyenMTV.”
THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SUPPORT BLM. I’m disgusted and disappointed. THIS IS NOT A TREND. THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH FOR US. Posting for clout about the death of black people? Shame on you @deenguyenMTV pic.twitter.com/pAw4KQKy30
— Bayleigh Dayton (@BayleighDaily) June 7, 2020
Dee denied posting “for clout” and she and Bayleigh continued to go back-and-forth with tweets. Soon, Bayleigh’s husband, Swaggy C— who is also appearing on “Total Madness” season of ‘The Challenge’— jumped in.
“Aight, Dee just said sumn bout Bayleigh, I’m bout to air her whole s**t out, gimme a second,” Swaggy C tweeted. He later posted that Dee texted him to keep talking bad about her because “I’m thinking for storylines for Season 36.”
“Everything is not for f**king clout and drama,” Swaggy C responded. “The f**k. CLOWN. I’m bout to air her whole s**t out. Using BLM for clout.”
And “air out” he did. In a series of tweets, Swaggy C proceeded to slam Dee for always trying to secure a story line with cast members in order to get herself on another season of ‘The Challenge.’ He also accused her of not doing any charity work until it was for Wes’ Patreon show. He stated that, although Dee has been at the Kansas City house since February, it was only because she couldn’t travel back to her native Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“Didn’t do one act of charity until Wes thought of a show,” he wrote. “You was in KC for two months & didn’t do one act of kindness until a camera was in your face. GTFO.” (You can read all of Swaggy C’s tweets here.)
Dee then responded (via Instagram Stories), writing about “cancel culture.”
“What some of your ‘faves’ are doing is creating a cancel culture on my colleagues,” Dee wrote. “Don’t fall for it or buy into it. Focus on within and drown out the noise. We’re all in this together.”
She was soon singing a different tune, though. On Sunday evening, she took to Twitter to apologize for her previous tweets regarding the BLM movement.
“I am sorry for the insensitive tweet I posted earlier,” Dee wrote. “I was being defensive and not speaking from my heart. But there’s no excuse. I also want to extend an apology to Bayleigh and Swaggy– who are my cast mates and deserve my respect and compassion.”
BLM to me every day. I’m trying to do the best I can with what is currently accessible to me.
— Dee Nguyen 🖤 (@deenguyenMTV) June 7, 2020
Wes apparently wasn’t swayed by Dee’s apology. He posted to Twitter just minutes later that he was kicking Dee out of the Patreon house.
“I just got back from work an hour ago. In that hour I’ve learned a lot of things,” Wes wrote. “As a leader I have to make rough, nuanced, & swift decisions. The decision is to ask her to leave my home and city; effective immediately.”
From there, many former and current ‘Challenge’ cast members weighed in, including Tula “Big T” Fazakerley, who told her Instagram followers that she was not surprised by Dee’s words, due to the previous conversations she said she has had with Dee.
“She said she was ‘blacker’ than me because I didn’t know the name of a musician and because she hadn’t seen me fight and be aggressive,” Big T wrote. “I felt like she was trying to make me fit her idea of a ‘stereotype.’..after seeing her tweets it just infuriated me even more and felt like I should be honest about my experience.”
That brings us to Monday, when the official MTV ‘Challenge’ account posted the message that the show has severed ties with Dee.
Many former cast members responded to that tweet, with some commending MTV for taking quick action against Dee, and some criticizing them and posting that they were worried about Dee’s mental health. Others called the network out for treating this situation differently than racial issues that have happened in the past.
Many brought up the fact that, during a 2017 episode, Camila Nakagawa went on a racist tirade against African-American cast member Leroy Garrett. She was not fired or banned from the show over the incident (although she did manage to get herself banned later that year for an unrelated incident.)
Other race-related controversies that fans and former cast members brought up were Georgia Harrison posting a photo of herself to social media while in blackface makeup, and Emily Schromm‘s own “blackface” incident. (During a 2012 episode of the “Battle of the Exes” season, Emily smeared Nutella on her face to “jokingly” depict her ex-boyfriend, Ty Ruff, who is African-American. Needless to say it did not go over well.)
“I understand some of y’all are upset castmembers have gotten away with similar actions/worse behavior in the past but trust & believe this is the new precedent,” cast member Jemmye Carroll tweeted. “Be proud of @challengeMTV for doing the right thing now & know that they will keep this same energy moving forward.”
I understand some of y’all are upset castmembers have gotten away with similar actions/worse behavior in the past but trust & believe this is the new precedent. Be proud of @ChallengeMTV for doing the right thing now & know that they will keep this same energy moving forward.
— Jem (@JustJem24) June 9, 2020
Former ‘Challenge’ cast member and current Teen Mom OG star Cheyenne Floyd responded to MTV’s tweet about Dee’s firing. In a tweet, Cheyenne stated, “Wish y’all had this same energy when I did the challenge.”
Cheyenne appeared on 2016’s “Rivals III” season, and she is likely referring to an incident that occurred on-camera, during which Johnny Bananas and his cousin Vince Gliatta purposely called her “Chantel” even after she asked them to stop and threatened to quit the show because of it.
“You took my name, which is a beautiful name my parents gave me, and then you give me a stereotypical ‘black girl’ name,” Cheyenne said in an on-camera confessional. “Let’s not take my name and turn it into something that it’s not.”
here’s johnny and vincehttps://t.co/AueFl52oY3
— Evan • #BLM (@realityiconsss) June 9, 2020
Cheyenne later explained that after attending an all-white high school and attending an all-black college she was, “always being singled out for being African-American in high school.”
“It was like I was too white for my college and it’s really hard when you can’t be accepted from either side,” she said.
Following MTV’s announcement, Dee posted a message to her Instagram account.
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“The last 24 hours have made me realised what is important and that is forgiveness,” Dee wrote. “I would like to offer my sincerest apology to my colleagues to whom I have hurt directly and indirectly due to my insensitive remarks. Let me be clear I am a POC [person of color] that cares about BLM [Black Lives Matter]. I believe in this movement and I am stepping away from social media to focus on my wellbeing and mental health.
“This is not a goodbye, it’s a ‘I will see you again.’ To my fans, thank you for believing in me and for your support. It helps. I see every single one of you and I remember your stories. Stay strong and stay safe my friends.”
Swaggy also commented on Dee’s firing.
“Don’t blame me. I was just standing up for my race, my movement, and my wife,” he tweeted Monday night. “Never was it my intention to get her off TV. Was just tired of her bulls**t and wasn’t tolerating it anymore. So I wanted to check her. I’m sorry, but the after effect is not my issue. Peace.”
UPDATE! Wes has also released a statement regarding Dee’s firing, as well as information about the aftermath of him kicking Dee out of the Patreon house.
— Wes Bergmann (@WestonBergmann) June 9, 2020
(Photos: MTV; Instagram; Twitter)