Challenge: Ride or Dies

Tori Receives Backlash for Comments About Amber; Talks About Taking a Break from The Challenge

Challenge fans feel Tori is being dismissive of Amber's diagnosis.

It’s no secret that cast members have been harsh to Amber in the past, and it hasn’t been abundantly clear why there were so many issues. At the reunion, Amber opened up about her autism spectrum diagnosis, and since then, fans have given her an outpouring of support. But, it doesn’t seem cast members are fully able to look past their drama.

Most notably, the “Big Brother alliance” (aka the “former Big Brother alliance” or the “Vacation alliance”) consisting of Tori, Devin, Kaycee, Faysal, Aneesa, and Nany, hasn’t always been the kindest to Amber.

Now, Tori has landed in hot water for her comments made toward Amber. On the Official Challenge Podcast, she made two comments that were particularly offputting.

When Devyn talked about Amber revealing her diagnosis, Tori responded by saying:

I think it definitely caught some people by surprise just because, like, certain people don’t like Amber and they were trying to figure out if it was real or not. But in my opinion, if somebody’s going to say this and speak their truth — let them be their truth. It’s not up to me to decide whether or not I believe it, that’s their truth. Like, it doesn’t matter what I think about it.

Tori Deal on MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast at 13:35

Perhaps this comment could be viewed as a sign of support, but some people read a bit deeper. It could be Tori dismissing Amber’s diagnosis as “her truth,” not an actual diagnosis. While Tori has claimed the comments were directed at people who don’t believe Amber, her later comments seem to indicate that she is one of the nonbelievers.

So, she talked about how she, like, basically lied at one point: Basically saying that she wasn’t on medication when she was on medication. So, in the past, she had done things that were not exactly aligned with what was happening, so I think that’s what made people question her. But her ability to own it in this moment makes it all clearer why she was maybe acting certain ways. So I think this whole thing is helping us to see her more clearly.

Tori Deal on MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast at 15:07

At the reunion, Amber revealed that she had taken medication for anxiety and depression, but they didn’t really help. In fact, Amber felt this was a source of shame (though it shouldn’t be). It wasn’t until she received her autism diagnosis that she began to understand herself better.

Perhaps Amber did lie about her medication, but this is private information that Tori isn’t entitled to receive. It didn’t impact the game, and it shouldn’t impact her relationship with other people. So, the implication that Amber was being deceitful really paints Tori in a negative light.

Of course, some people are reading deeply into these comments, and Tori is getting a lot of backlash when we know other people also spoke negatively about Amber; they’ve just been silent after the reunion. Even though Tori has made some regrettable comments, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence in the Challenge world. And it can get exhausting.

On the Death, Taxes, and Bananas podcast (around the 59:33 mark), Tori said she “can’t wait to take a break from this shit.” She has a few more little things, then she’s taking a big, big break.

Many people are under the impression that she won’t be on Season 39. That could be true, but she didn’t explicitly say that. After all, we know that Tori did Ride or Dies, then she did the World Championship shortly after. Her “big break” could just be a couple of months off social media, then she comes back for season 39.

Only time will tell, but we know that Challenge fans are very unforgiving. So, these comments are likely to haunt Tori online. But in the real world, let’s hope she grows from them and treats people with kindness — whether or not she knows their medical history.

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