Aneesa Ferreira Says She Has ‘Issues’ With How Dee Nguyen Incident Was Handled

Aneesa Ferreira Dee Nguyen

MTV Aneesa Ferreira and Dee Nguyen

There have been cast members with questionable behaviors on and off “The Challenge” in the past but none have been cut from the franchise so publicly and definitively as Dee Nguyen. As “Total Madness” was airing in June 2020, MTV announced that it had “severed ties” with the champion over offensive comments she made about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The network went even beyond that and cut Dee from almost all the footage of the remaining episodes until her elimination. Not many “Challenge” stars have spoken about the situation, but Aneesa Ferreira recently discussed how MTV addresses these serious topics.

On “The Challenge Fandom Podcast,” Aneesa was asked her opinion about how the show’s handling of these issues has changed over the years, with the network essentially cutting out all questionable scenes whereas before they made the final edit and were able to spark discussions among cast and fans.

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Aneesa Said She’s Not Sure Where the Line Is Because Social Media Has Changed Things a Lot

Aneesa told the hosts that she’s “on the fence” with the best way to handle these sensitive topics. She added, “When I was doing it I had to solve my own problems and [MTV and Bunim/Murray]… they didn’t step in because we based our show on it being a reality show where we were gonna figure this out you know?”

She said when cast members did or said things that were “distasteful” or “racially insensitive,” it could be used as a teachable moment and cast members could learn from those conversations. “People didn’t know the boundaries of that,” she said about that time. “I think people didn’t know about implicit biases like I don’t think people were as educated. And we didn’t have social media.”

Aneesa said she thinks social media now might be a big reason the network chooses to cut out a lot of those scenes instead of airing them. “I wonder if it’s because of protecting people’s mental health and like… the fans are awful. Some of them.” The “Challenge” veteran elaborated:

Imagine something that you did. Whether it’s taken out of context or edited properly… and you didn’t mean it and you feel awful about it and then they put it on the show. And then you come home to ‘go kill yourself, you’re a horrible person.’ I mean it gets to be a lot when it’s every day there is someone else saying something terrible to you.

She said the problem with editing out those scenes, however, is that there is a “missing piece” left and fans can wonder what happened. “It’s like aliens scooped up cast members,” she said. “Just took them away. Never to be seen or heard of again. Like it’s bizarre.”

Aneesa revealed that they had a discussion about it and she wasn’t sure if she could share it, but she said the “Challenge’s” goal isn’t to “out people for all of the bad s*** that they do.” That being said, there’s a delicate balance between keeping cast members safe emotionally but also continuing with the storytelling aspect of the show, the veteran added.

Aneesa Spoke About Dee’s Case Specifically & Said She Has Issues With What Happened

Aneesa then brought up Dee’s case in her conversation on “The Challenge Fandom Podcast,” saying she has “issues with how that happened.” She explained:

To me, Dee is a woman of color and we totally didn’t take into account that she was like, you know, didn’t really fit in in Australia and she went through s*** and prejudice and whatever and it just… we just were like see ya!

Aneesa revealed that she spoke to Dee a lot after the show and while she acknowledged that Dee’s tweet was “insensitive,” she said it’s possible to have teachable moments like, “Dee you can’t say that kind of s***.” Aneesa added, “An apology would have been enough… I think there are moments where we can step in and [say] ‘hey you can come back from this.'”

Aneesa explained that the “social media repercussions” are the worst aspect because normally if people “mess up,” they can hold themselves accountable and apologize to their friends. However, people on social media “dig in your past… and then they put it on social media,” she explained, “but you can’t defend yourself because you’re not allowed to talk about it. So it’s just… it’s a lot.”

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