Reality TV contestant Luke Valentine has been removed from "Big Brother" after using the N-word on camera, violating the show's policy, CBS said Wednesday.
"Luke violated the BIG BROTHER code of conduct and there is zero tolerance in the house for using a racial slur," the network and show producers said in a statement. "He has been removed from the house."
Valentine's departure from the show, which is in its 25th season, will be addressed in Thursday night's episode, the statement added.
The Florida resident, who is White, was caught using the slur during a conversation with three other castmembers, Jared Fields, Cory Wurtenberger and Hisam Goueli, while being streamed live on Paramount+.
CBS and Paramount+ are owned by Paramount Global, which is also the parent company of CBS News.
In videos circulating social media, Valentine was seen covering his mouth and laughing after saying the word. "Dude. Anyways...," he tried to continue. Wurtenberger and Goeuli, who were on camera in the conversation, appeared surprised by the use of the slur and left the room soon after. Wurtenberger can be heard saying "You gotta go to bed" to Valentine while exiting.
Valentine is also seen saying "I'm sorry" to Fields while laughing, adding in an apparent attempt to explain: "It wasn't what you thought. ... I was going to call him a narwhal."
After the incident came to light, "Big Brother" Season 15 winner Andy Herren spoke out on social media, calling the decision to oust Valentine "huge."
"YEARS of problematic behavior and language in the Big Brother house going unpunished led to fans and former houseguests speaking up, and today CBS *finally* listened and did the right thing instead of covering it up," Herren wrote.
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