'Big Brother' alum Paola Shea: Stop comparing me to Alex Ow, it's some "racist sh-t"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/05/2017
Big Brother houseguest Jessica Graf swears she never called Alex Ow a "panda," but according to former houseguest Paola Shea, Jessica's "Pao Pao" nickname for Alex isn't any less offensive.
On Sunday night's episode of Big Brother, Jessica was shown calling Alex "Pao Pao" -- pronounced "Pow Pow" -- behind her back, ultimately comparing her to DJ Paola from Season 16 who is best remembered for her loud and wild behavior. Paola had a huge personality in a small package.
"I do not look like Alex, so stop comparing me to her," Paola, 30, said in a Twitter video posted on Saturday. "We're two different people, and this is, like, some racist sh-t that you guys are doing."
Paola addressed the situation again on Monday, July 3 after reading social-media comments and news headlines.
"I think Jessica calling Alex 'Pao Pao' was a little bit racist. I just wanted to voice out my opinion because the media and tabloids can twist things around. I'm not trying to call Jessica racist," Paola clarified.
"I just think that it's inappropriate for her and the entire house to refer to Alex as me, just because we are both from Asian descent. I know that we have similar personality traits but we are completely different people. That is my view on things, you guys can voice out your own opinion and I will not get offended."
This controversy blew up in the Big Brother house because former Season 19 houseguest Megan Lowder seemed to think she had heard Jessica call Alex a "panda," which is a racial slur for people of Asian descent.
Prior to her self-eviction due to an "urgent personal matter," Megan told Alex that Jessica used the term "panda" when talking behind her back.
Jessica, however, whole-heartedly denied the allegation when confronted by Alex, who believed Jessica over Megan considering cameras record their every move 24 hours a day. A blow-out fight then occurred between Megan and Alex.
Alex accused Megan of lying, but Megan stood by her claim and couldn't believe her fellow houseguests were being so volatile toward her. Megan eventually locked herself in the Diary Room for several hours before her exit from Big Brother was announced to the cast.
Megan told The Desert Sun earlier this week that she was suffering from "really bad PTSD" in the Big Brother house stemming from an incident of sexual assault she had experienced while serving in the Navy.
Megan admitted to the newspaper it was "entirely possible" she could have heard Jessica wrong.