In wake of Dee getting cancelled, MTV has taken to removing other cast members from TV shows. Most notably, Cory & Taylor’s Teen Mom special was cancelled last week after Taylor’s racists tweets resurfaced. Seista Keys star Alex Kompothecras was let go after racially insensitive social media posts, including one using the n-word, resurfaced.
Unlike Dee, these are all old posts. They predate their time on MTV, but they were also malicious posts with clear, racist rhetoric.
Now that multiple people have had their ties severed, other Challenge cast members have landed in the hot seat. The biggest target, for good reason, is Jordan.
On Real World Portland, he got into a huge argument with Nia where he made many racist gestures and used racist language. Though it did not make the final cut of the episode, his roommates alleged he used the n-word. The morning after the fight, Marlon confronted Jordan. He explained that Jordan imitating monkeys was offensive to all black people, not just Nia. The consequence for this fight? He was cast on Rivals 2 with Marlon as his partner.
Now, I’m not going to attempt to justify any of Jordan’s actions. He was 100% in the wrong. His season was filmed in 2012, and the climate wasn’t that different. We knew not to make monkey noises, and Jordan knew his actions were racist. We can’t dismiss these actions as him not knowing any better.
We also need to look at MTV’s role in this situation. These actions happened on The Real World, a show that has always been focused on racial issues. We saw this on season 1, we saw Davis use racial language toward Tyrie in Denver, and season 31 would see a southern girl use racial language against a black roommate. The show has always centered itself around controversial issues and production advertises the discussions in trailers and promos. When Real World Portland aired in 2013, production wanted these issues on the show.
To be fair, The Real World was a much better environment to actually have a conversation. We saw the roommates talk about Jordan’s actions, we saw the lasting effects of the situation, and Jordan’s actions weren’t immediately dismissed. Of course, if he did use the n-word, production did have a hand in protecting Jordan’s image.
Now, production has opened up a wormhole. Many people have questionable pasts, but have been cast multiple times since the incidents occurred. Jordan has done some pretty vile things, many more recent than his Real World season, but been cast despite this. MTV has endorsed these actions by putting them in promotions and people who have posted racially-charged messages on social media have been brought back.
For Jordan, he is rumored to have been suspended for 1-3 or 3-5 seasons. Marlon appeared on Afterbuzz TV to discussed Dee and Jordan’s punishments. In Marlon’s mind, this is hardly a punishment for Jordan. He willingly took three seasons off before, so this is not out of character for him.
When it comes to racially-charged arguments and comments, Jordan’s instance on Real World Portland was one of the most malicious. His comments toward Jemmye on Dirty Thirty were also deliberately offensive, but these instances happened years ago. Fans may not have forgiven Jordan, but MTV certainly did. He was on War of the World 2 and Total Madness after all of his comments were aired.
At this point, MTV may be under new leadership. Of course, the Black Lives Matter movement has also forced them to refocus on their support of the black community and reevaluate some of their past decisions. Firing Dee was a reflection of progress, as they have decided her comments make her unworthy of being represented on MTV. While the network has taken the opportunity to grow, firing cast members for old statements seems to deny their opportunity to grow publicly. We can’t ignore the fact that MTV has provide a platform for hate speech and seemingly encouraged it.
I will never support the statements Jordan, Taylor, Dee, or Alex has made. Other cast members have made similar statements that have not yet been addressed. Still, silently suspending Jordan probably isn’t going to do anything for the network. Viewers who are not as invested in the series will simply view this as Jordan taking another break. It will have minimal impact on his longterm story arch.
With Dee, MTV was setting a precedent. They determined her actions were not acceptable as part of their brand moving forward. Future cast members (and it will happen) will likely receive similar punishments moving forward. For the other cast members, they are getting dismissed because MTV realized they should have done better years ago.
Jordan, Dee, Mattie, Rogan, and Bear were not at the virtual reunion. The first 4 have said racial slurs or been racially insensitive on social media or the show. Bear has gotten in trouble for being involved with an underages girl. Rogan insists he was having a medical procedure done, and filmed a segment earlier for the reunion.