A former contestant on the CBS reality show Big Brother says some of his former cast mates should offer apologies for a season plagued by controversial race comments.
"If they really want to give themselves a moral boost, they will go out of their way and make it public through an apology," said Columbus native Nick Uhas. "Or they can own it and say, 'This is what I said, and it made such a huge commotion in the media, I can now say this is actually a problem in the United States.' They can address it now because people are watching and that would be the most responsible way to do it."
Uhas, who grew up in Hilliard and graduated from the Ohio State University, was voted out of the Big Brother house at the end of the second week.
Despite his short time in the house, he says his social media following has grown rapidly despite the controversial season.
"It's actually been good and bad," said Uhas. "Reality TV has evolved into the new soap opera and anything big that happens on a soap opera people are tuning in. So, while the season was extremely controversial, when you look at the numbers, the Twitter following for everyone who was on this season is bigger than some who placed first, second and third from previous seasons."
CBS has renewed Big Brother for another season and Uhas predicts the network will book a more conservative cast next year to avoid a repeat of controversy.
"This season was like Jerry Springer meets Jersey Shore," said Uhas. "If you go to that extreme there really is nowhere else to go from there unless you go back toward center. The base is people who want to talk about Big Brother, that love game play and love strategy. So the rumor is we'll be returning to 'All Stars' for season 16."
Several members of the cast have taken to social media to criticize other players, including Uhas, but he said many are still learning to navigate fame.
"They haven't been in the position of being a public figure," said Uhas. "They don't really understand the repercussions of what they're doing now. People are listening to them - they are tuned in. But I don't think they quite understand the power they have with that audience."
While Uhas does not defend all the behavior on the show, he says he still would do it again.
"You can never be proud of a season that could be remembered for racism," said Uhas. "But to be part of Big Brother in general you're going to be proud about it. You want to be known for that at least."