Fans of “The Challenge” might not remember Lauren Coogan because she was cast for “Spies, Lies and Allies” but was removed from the show in the second episode and edited out of nearly every scene prior to her exit. While the “Love Island” star briefly addressed her exit and said she was “gaslit and scapegoated,” her co-stars have remained silent on her removal from the show until now.
At the time of her exit, “Challenge” insider account PinkRose reported that Lauren was removed after being accused of making a racially insensitive remark toward Aneesa Ferreira, CheatSheet wrote, but Lauren wrote on Twitter that there is “no truth” to the rumor and MTV did not release a statement about the situation. On October 10, however, season 37 cast member Corey Lay took to social media to accuse Lauren of being racist.
His callout followed drama as a video of Fessy Shafaat getting close to another woman after a “Challenge Mania” Live event in Florida started circulating online. Amanda Garcia, who’d been seeing Fessy, slammed him in a series of tweets and also involved Corey Lay, who was partying with Fessy and other “Challenge” stars that night. One fan wrote that “Corey Lay moves funny” and the tweet was liked by Lauren, which set off Corey:
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Corey Called Lauren Racist Multiple Times & Spoke About His Experience Coming Out
In the midst of tweeting about his night out in Tampa, Corey tweeted that Lauren was liking comments about him being shady: “Not this woman kicked off The Challenge for being racist liking shady tweets about me. Worry about yourself @LaurenCoogan.” A fan asked why he only decided to come forward now and he replied, “Because she felt the need to be shady towards me unprovoked. She has no reason to ever come for me.”
He then elaborated, “This woman who was kicked off the show also tried to minimize how important it was to me to be an out queer black man on The Challenge because we are vastly underrepresented. She said to me with her whole chest to not make my ‘storyline’ about being gay.” He added that the cast had been “protecting” Lauren by not speaking about what happened:
Being a queer black man is fucking hard in this world & NO ONE especially a racist white woman will ever tell me how I should represent myself. I’ve fought so hard in my life to be who I am. We have all protected you by NOT speaking about you. Tread lightly [Lauren].
Corey explained that being gay will always be a part of his “storyline” because it’s important for him to show all of himself to the world and try to be a role model for others in the queer black community. A now-deleted tweet from someone asked Corey, “Are you Aneesa? No? Then don’t speak on Lauren if you weren’t even there to hear the alleged comment.”
Corey was quick to reply that he was standing in the same room as the two. Someone asked, “So how come production reviewed footage and found nothing? Explain that? Did Lauren go on the cameras and edit that out or what.” Corey replied that he can’t speak for what production did and has no idea what happened behind the scenes.
In a final comment about the situation, Corey tweeted about National Coming Out Day and wrote, “Thank God I didn’t listen to people like @LaurenCoogan when I was 14 years old struggling to accept my sexuality. I came out & now live LOUDLY and OPENLY for every queer person who cant. Some people end their lives struggling with this and I will never be silenced.”
After Her Departure From the Show, Lauren Said She Was Scapegoated & Gaslight & Denied the Rumors
Lauren briefly shared her version of events after her removal from the show in a Twitter thread and an Instagram Q&A. She wrote, “I got gaslit and scapegoated on two major networks within the same month. My anxiety skyrocketed, my mental health was literally in shambles and this led me to an identity crisis of sorts.”
She said she didn’t want to address why she was removed from the show but described the experience as “traumatic” and “the worst time of my life.” She said she was accused of saying some things but MTV’s legal team didn’t have time to review the footage before the second challenge because of the time difference between Croatia or the U.S. and that’s why the decision was taken to remove her.