Gay Houseguest Andy Herren Removed from College Teaching Job Over Comments on ‘Big Brother’

Andy HerrenAdd another name to the list of 'Big Brother' contestants rebuked by their real-world employers as a direct result of gameplay and gametalk in this season's house. On Friday, the College of DuPage distanced themselves from openly gay contestant Andy Herren, stating in a Facebook post that he is no longer working for them and is now unemployed. From the post:

"Andy Herren has formerly worked for College of DuPage as a part-time instructor. He does not currently work for the College. Any behavior or language he uses on the CBS reality show "Big Brother" does not represent the opinions or values of College of DuPage."

Although certainly one of the less offensive houseguests this summer (which isn't saying much), Andy nonetheless participated in many of the controversial conversations that made this season so newsworthy. Last week, Andy vocally agreed with finalist GinaMarie that many of the evicted houseguests were "robotic biracials."

Now, all three of this season's finalists have been publicly admonished by their employers for in-game behavior and words. Back in July, GinaMarie Zimmerman was fired from her job as a New York pageant coordinator for her racist comments made against black and Asian-American contestants. Spencer Clawson, who serves as a railroad conductor for Union Pacific, was also denounced by his employer earlier this season for his homophobic and pro-Hitler remarks on the show.

Because the season is still ongoing, all three remain blissfully unaware of any controversies or firings. That all changes this Wednesday during the live finale.  

Comments

  1. DrunkEnough says

    This one doesn’t seem fair. Anyone who watches the show (and especially the live feeds) knows that Andy isn’t one of the problem contestants. One of the other finalists, Spencer, made jokes about being a pedophile–and he kept his job. If Andy doesn’t shut down racist talk, it’s because this game is structured a lot like life: If you make waves with the powers that be, you lose.

    I personally think he can do better than this college anyway. In the first episode of the season, in the package of clips depicting his life back home, he was shown teaching a class in a multicolored tee-shirt. So maybe not being associated with a college where professors have a dress code like that will be a good thing for him.

  2. Chaz says

    I blush to think about the conversations that me and my fellow teachers in Dublin have had on our lunch breaks. Nothing witlessly racist or anything like that, but some jokes that you’d need a cable package to hear on TV. It’s all about knowing who you’re with. With close friends, you can say almost anything but I wouldn’t release the transcripts for a million dollars.

  3. Jonathan says

    I think “fired” is a bit presumptuous. “Professor” can be anything from tenured faculty to part time, temporary teacher. It’s entirely possible Herren left the DuPage job to do Big Brother and the college is just clarifying that he is not a current employee in the FB post. There’s very little context around it to know what really happened.

  4. Brian in Texas says

    Was he actually fired or was he just not assigned to teach classes for the summer and fall semesters since he knew he was going to be on the show? He’s not a tenured professor so his position is not guaranteed year to year. Sounds like the school just wanted to clarify that he doesn’t represent them since they aren’t widely known.

  5. Roche says

    This article is simply wrong. Andy left the college to go on the show. So the college’s statement that he is a former employee is correct. The college, along with every employer of all other contestants of BB15 were asked to comment about the nasty things said in the house. So no, Andy was not fired. This is what happens when Towleroad copies and pastes unreliable bloggers. Do better.

  6. GregV says

    I agree with Jonathan. The statement doesn’t say he’s fired and we don’t agree with him. It just clarifies that he’s not working there right now and he’s not speaking on the college’s behalf.

  7. Isaac says

    He shouldn’t say racist crap on the air or off the air for that matter. Of course he has every right to say it but he shouldn’t be suprised if he is held accountable. Race is a very sensitive subject and minorities have to put up with being made aware of their race constantly. He is a gay man and you think he would be more sympathetic or unwilling to use dehumanizing language. Bi racial robot?!

  8. Isaac says

    He shouldn’t say racist crap on the air or off the air for that matter. Of course he has every right to say it but he shouldn’t be suprised if he is held accountable. Race is a very sensitive subject and minorities have to put up with being made aware of their race constantly. He is a gay man and you think he would be more sympathetic or unwilling to use dehumanizing language. Bi racial robot?!

  9. Marcus says

    Just last night, Andy was talking about former female houseguests who he said went down on themselves in the house and got guys off by screwing them with their empty eye sockets. This was followed by more remarks about Helen’s Asian eyes. He is vile … and will probably win.

  10. rocker rocker says

    So now that it’s a homo from this trash heap of a TV “show” some of you homos are up inflamed (no pun intended)? Seriously? Shame on you. And shame on the millions of moronic idiots who watch this show.

  11. northalabama says

    like others have commented, i didn’t interpret the post by dupage as a termination, simply a well crafted comment to absolve themselves of andy’s behavior. will he work at dupage again? who knows.

    if the brenchel army has been torpedoing dupage’s website following elissa’s eviction, i don’t blame dupage at all.

  12. Illiot says

    Andy also called Elissa’s son that “STUPID” Autistic child. Wouldn’t want a kid being taught by a teacher who thinks autistic kids are “STUPID. Andy is a horrible excuse for a teacher.

  13. Sam says

    @ Jonathan

    A “professor” is a VERY specific term. It is reserved for college teachers that have obtained a doctorate. The next rung down is a “lecturer” which is a college teacher that has a masters degree. An “instructor” is a glorified teacher’s assistant which is at the bottom for college teachers.

    Students may use “professor” when addressing a college teacher but the actual title has specific qualifications attached to it.

  14. QJ201 says

    Part-time = Adjunct Professor, hired or re-hired each term. If he isn’t teaching now, he isn’t working for the college, and as an adjunct, he has no “legal right” to expect to be rehired. Adjuncts are at will employees.

    And I’m getting really tired of adjuncts promoting themselves as “faculty.” Trust me, full time faculty jobs are usually very selective and they put you through hell to earn your tenure. Adjuncts show up, teach and go home.

    Yes I dated a professor at one time.

  15. Nick says

    Even if the technicalities of the article about Andy being fired are wrong, I think we’re missing the point. I think the main takeaway is that racist, homophobic, etc comments shouldn’t be tolerated on or off the screen. Even if Andy wasn’t fired because of it, he sure as hell should be. Being queer doesn’t excuse you from being a bigot. To crack racist jokes or throw around slurs as a part of game-play is a level you should never have to stoop to in order to win money. Regardless, the winner of this season is going to need the money after their insensitive comments have been streamed live on the internet and on national television.

  16. mike/ says

    Mr. Towle, having grown up near College of Dupage, you should let people in on the ‘secret’ of the area around it, especially Wheaton – a bastion of conservative intellectuals lead by a christian college (Wheaton College) in a very reactionary area.

    and, yes, i know ‘conservative intellectual’ is an oxymoron…

  17. Jack says

    Andy has made some pretty misogynistic comments including perpetrating violence on Helen and then Elissa. As a gay male, I feel horribly embarrassed by his language and base behavior.

  18. Hagatha says

    All of these self righteous comments and not one of you has said if what he said was true or not. I don’t watch the program so I don’t know. What I do know is that these reality shows try to have one of everything, and to generate fake drama and animosity. Perhaps those who have left the show are robotic biracials. Maybe that’s why they were on the show.

  19. happynurse says

    Andy shouldn’t be teaching anyone anything anytime soon, and before he does, he needs some sensitivity training/classes before being allowed to teach. Since Andy is gay and since it’s a marginalized group, you’d think he’d know better than to speak about others in such derogatory ways.

  20. duane says

    This season of Big Brother made headlines all over the world because of the over-the-top racism and bullying that went on in the house.

    The biggest complaint against Andy, BB15’s token gay, is that — even though he wasn’t the worst offender — he contributed to the racism and bullying by laughing at all the racist jokes and by egging on the bullies who went after another house guest because of her race. He’s also been criticised for hateful statements against women in general and for saying he wanted to punch another female house guest in the throat.

    In other words, he’s a nasty, mean-spirited piece of shyte.

    Unfortunately, he’ll probably be rewarded for this behavior by winning an emormouse cash prize, because that’s the kind of game show Big Brother is. It’s a trashy reality show contest that brings out and encourges the absolute worst in people, even as CBS bizarrly tries to package it as a family-friendly program.

    On the bright side, the clock on Andy’s 15 minutes will probably run out just as soon as the show is over. He doesn’t seem to have any real fans — outside of that one guy at The Backlot. And that’s exactly how it should be. Letting his 15-minute Fame Clock run out after the season finale will be the best thing for all of us. Because the last thing we need is token gays like Andy being propped up by a major network like CBS as the face of the gay community.

  21. Jen713 says

    For me, the worst thing Andy said was about Elissa’s 11 year old son. Even on a show like Big Brother, where the moral compass is totally nonexistent, shouldn’t kiddy insults be off-limits? As an adult, not to mention an educator, I just find it to be so vile. The bashing this season has taken such a serious tone. Comments ranging from racial to homophobic to antisemitic to sexist, and now children, I can’t even watch the live feeds anymore. What also irks me is that Ragan Fox, a past contestant and also a gay educator, has taken to his blog to call out all of Andy’s “haters” and blame it all on homophobia. That’s interesting since I know a lot of people who were once fans of Andy’s, self included, who surely knew he was gay at the time. Why is it people can root for him knowing he’s gay, but once we’re turned off by the sick crap coming out of his mouth, all of the sudden, we’re all homophobic? Very irresponsible, Mr. Fox. And completely inaccurate.

    The really funny (or pathetic) part of the show begins after Wednesday. Post-finale when the houseguests are let out into the wild and begin taking interviews. Then the fans will be inundated with lots of phony, fake apologies and pleas that, “it was only game.” Maybe even some tears. Awww, but that won’t work. We’ve watched them fake cry and lie for 80+ days. Even brag how skillful they are at it. Just go away. Learn something from this. Please.

  22. Jerry6 says

    From the posts and some of the comments, I get the fealing that some people actually believe that the actors in “REALITY” shows are being themselves and actually espouse their true fealings and beliefs, rather than following a basic plot of a TV Show. I truly believe that no one who is actually as stupid and bigoted as found in all of these shows would want to display their stupidity and bigotry to the world at large.

  23. Liam says

    Jennifer Zam: People make catty remarks. If he said it to the childs face that would be one thing. But he didnt. He shouldnt have said it but it is not a hanging offense. It was aimed more at Allysa anyway and remember in this game just because someone says something does not make it true or what they really believe. He was ingratiating himself to others when he made those comments. Its part of the game. Not very nice but that is what is going on. And agreeing with GinaMarie is not saying those things yourself. Its cementing your alliance with a racist twit to get yourself further in the game.

  24. V-8 says

    I hope there r priceless youtube clips of Julie Chen telling them all, at the same time, that they have been fired from their jobs and that America and the world think they are vile….. I hope that Julie also quits the show, live… it needs to end with a well-deserved bang!

  25. Cheryl D says

    Technically Andy did loose his job because on a recent Big Brother episode, Andy stated that he would not be starting back to work until January at the College, so that means that he does not have that job to go back to now.

  26. WmD says

    *Spoiler*

    Well folks…he won tonight.

    I thought he was the least if all evils..but apparently they were all evil.

    Still get nauseous remembering GinaMarie telling the adopted African-American contestant that, “..she must ge unlovable, because not even her birth mother loved her enough to keep her…that she was given away”.

    Who says that to an adoptee?? Who doesn’t know that adoptees have severe abandonment issues?

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