After an offensive and potentially dangerous evening, we saw the most shocking Camilinator appearance yet. While Camila was forced to stay in a hotel, which I believe the first time we’ve ever seen that on a Challenge, she was able to return to the house and continue with the game. Many fans are outraged, claiming Camila’s behavior warranted her departure from the competition.
In regards to her tantrum, that’s nothing new. While she did shove a few people and throw some dumbbells, similar behaviors have been observed in the Camilinator during past seasons. Not saying this is acceptable behavior, but it does appear that production loves her tantrums and based on the amount of attention she receives, I’d say they’re encouraged. Security was on hand, and no one was really hurt (physically).
But the tantrum is secondary at this point. The real cause for controversy is Camila’s language and commentary toward Leroy. She used language that is undeniably racially motivated and insults that offended everyone in the house. Why was this tolerated? Shouldn’t this be grounds for dismissal from the competition?
In short, no. As offensive as her language was, prior seasons of The Challenge or The Real World have allowed racial comments and no one has been kicked off for using that type of language.
The number of racially-influenced moment on The Challenge that made the air are limited, but they do exist. On The Duel we saw Robin question Aneesa’s race, and similar commented were repeated on Rivals 2 by Trishelle. Neither Robin nor Trishelle were penalized by production for these comments. On Battle of the Exes Emily mimicked Ty by putting Nutella on her face, akin to blackface. While I do believe Emily’s naive upbringing led her to not understand the impact of this action, she was no punished.
Perhaps the most similar incident on The Challenge occurred on 2001’s Extreme Challenge. After drinking, Laterrian was teaching Christian (who resides in Sweden) American slang. Through the incident was not caught on camera, Christian used the n-word. Offended, Ayanna hit Christian and Ayanna was sent home while Christian was not punished.
When you consider the fact that The Challenge is a spin-off of The Real World, it’s not surprising that racially insensitive incidents do not get cast members kicked off. Many seasons of The Real World have had episodes focusing on being a minority in America and documenting challenging conversations on the issue. Season one featured a heated argument between Kevin and Julie on the issue. While this was a conversation and not a direct attack on Kevin, it set the grounds for The Real World to be a platform for social issues to be discussed. We’ve also seen our share of direct racial comments being used on The Real World. Davis drunkenly called Tyrie the n-word on the Denver season and was not sent home, though similarly to Camila he was sent to a hotel due to the escalated nature of the interaction. More recent Real World seasons like Go Big or Go Home featured Jenna making many racial comments which led to arguments in the house. These issues did not lead to Jenna getting dismissed and were heavily used as promotional materials. On the Bad Blood season Mike made racial comments and was known to casually use the n-word. While production didn’t kick him out for this, he knew the backlash would be a poor reflection on himself so he voluntarily removed himself from the show.
Camila’s comments are wrong and she will have to face the backlash for making them. However, sending her home strictly for making racist comments would be inconsistent with prior issues of a similar nature on The Real World and The Challenge. Maybe it is a time for a change in the rules, but as of now this is how production handles these issues. More likely than a change in rules would be the fact that production would sweep the incident under the rug to avoid controversy. It was rumored that Camila’s episode was going to be entirely edited out of the show until production heard backlash from cast members at the reunion.
…if Camila was kicked off for her violent tantrum and aggressive body language toward Leroy that would have been consistent with her & Tony’s dismissal from Rivals 3 and Peter’s dismissal from Bad Blood, but that’s a different story…