‘Big Brother 19’ Star Paul Abrahamian Caught Up in Blackface Scandal
It’s 2017, and fools still think blackface is OK, apparently.
Big Brother 19 contestant Paul Abrahamian is saying he’s going to wear a “black face” to mock fellow contestant Dominique Cooper, who happens to be black.
As you might imagine, fans of the CBS reality show are outraged...
Paul, 24 years old, is a clothing designer from Tarzana, California. In his online bio he says he’ll “probably use people’s weaknesses against them” while in the Big Brother house.
“It’s very hard to get underneath my skin, but very easy for me to get underneath yours, so I think I can mentally crack any member,” he claims.
“[I’ll be] feeling people out and seeing just how much of my blunt and dry humor they can take.
“I'm not worried about it; I thrive on situations and circumstances like this.”
In the course of this 19th season, Paul has clashed with 31-year-old Dominique Cooper, a government engineer from Woodbridge, Virginia.
They’ve both accused each other of double-crosses.
The strategy she lists in her online bio couldn’t be more different than Paul’s: Hers is to “be friendly and maintain integrity.”
Dominique has called Paul a snake, and now he’s planning revenge by dressing in snake-print clothing and a black mask he calls “black face.”
Fans watching the Big Brother live feed heard Paul say the words “black face” twice, as captured in two Twitter videos posted on Sunday.
In the first video, he showed his costume to contestants Alex Ow, Christmas Abbott, and Ramses Soto. Saying he would wear a snake-print dress, leggings, and a “black face” he later described as a “black mask.”
In the second, he asks contestants Elena Davies and Mark Jansen whether he should wear the “face mask,” and again he used the term “black face.”
According to notes transcribed on Big Brother Daily, Paul asked Elena whether he should wear a black mask or a green mask. She opted for the green, then he said the dress he plans to wear is black and white, and then she opted for the black.
Then Paul “said it has to be black,” the website reports.
So far, Twitter reaction has been mixed. Some fans think that Paul, despite using the words “black face,” isn’t racist.
“I would defend ANYONE being falsely accused of being rasict [sic],” writes @AmberStar83.
Others say it’s just ignorant, like @iamsheajenkins: “Paul isn't a racist. Paul is doing something that's unnecessary and not remotely funny though.”
Some fans argue his intentions in this snake stunt are irrelevant.
“Paul is not a racist but he is ignorant AF of the implications of ‘black face’ or ‘black mask,’ esp to POC,” says @ReneeNicoleMcDo. “He needs to learn.”
“It will hurt her bc of the racist history behind it,” says @norminisfr in response to the aforementioned @AmberStar83.
@NoramGoldenII probably says it best: “Whether you're a Paul fan or not… I think we can all agree this black face/black mask to taunt Dominique is NOT A GOOD IDEA.”
Big Brother 19 airs Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET and Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.