It looks like former-Challenger Dee Nguyen is rebranding herself. After the network severed ties with the reality star, she went silent. Two years later, she’s returned with a new podcast called “The Deevine.”
The podcast isn’t just a recollection of her time with MTV, but the first episode does cover the incident in June of 2020.
First, she sets the scene. In her words: It was peak COVID, peak George Floyd, and peak BLM. She was stuck in the US because she was traveling when the pandemic struck and Australia closed its borders. Before lockdowns happened, she was in the US (likely to promote Total Madness) and spending time with her friends.
Dee was in Kansas City with Wes and a group of other MTV personalities to film Wes’s “passion project.” Being a Challenge star, she was on social media. She posted a black square in solidarity of BLM, but continued posting content that day. Then, she posted the infamous tweet where she said she’s been BLM since the day she lost her virginity (Vevmo’s done a great job archiving this.)
If you know the origins, this is where Dee’s side of the story comes out.
Once Dee made the scandalous tweet, the backlash was immediate. She claims this was a “cheeky” way to show her support and not based out of racism. When the shit hit the fan, she felt that all of her friends immediately turned on her without any compassion or attempts to educate.
She also claimed she’d had deep conversations on Total Madness with the individuals who confronted her on Twitter (Bayleigh & Swaggy C). Then, they displayed no understanding when she was receiving backlash.
Because there was such a social movement going on, Dee claims MTV wanted to use her tweets to make an example out of her. She feels they needed to support the BLM movement, so when they saw any questionable comments, they seized the opportunity to show their support at the expense of a person who made a mistake.
Perhaps in the oddest turn of events, she talks about a man she fell in love with — though she’d never met him in person. She says he was moving to Kansas City, is Black, and is a vegan (all signs point to Nehemiah). They were smitten for each other, but when Dee started getting backlash, he gave her the cold shoulder and showed no empathy.
Then, Wes kicked her out and she went to Colorado. She was depressed and considered taking her own life. Fortunately, she didn’t. She spent time healing before going back to Australia.
Clearly, the whole situation took a great mental toll on Dee. While her tweets were certainly insensitive, especially given the time they were made, it’s pretty clear that people were quick to dismiss her without caring about the impact on her wellbeing. I do think Dee paints herself as more innocent than she really is — because her tweets did hurt people — but I can also see how she was being used as a scapegoat. People have said and done much worse, and they’re back on MTV.
Dee won’t be back on MTV anytime soon, but she will be public with her new site and podcast. I’m happy to see she’s recovering, and I’m hopeful she learned from the backlash. Still, I approach this with a sense of sympathy. People really did dispose of Dee, it’s easy to understand why she felt alone and isolated, and we had no idea of the mental duress she endured. But, there’s two sides to every story, and now we know Dee’s.