With so many personalities, there’s bound to be drama — even behind the scenes. That’s definitely the case for MTV’s The Challenge.
The reality show debuted in 1998 and was originally titled Road Rules: All Stars, then Real World/Road Rules Challenge, before simplifying its name. Ever since, the cast has been one to watch — and one that fans Google afterward to find out what really happened.
One of the biggest controversies came in 2020 amid the Black Lives Matter movement. Dee Nguyen, who was competing on her second Challenge at the time, tweeted racially-charged remarks, which were flagged to the network. Not only did MTV release a statement, but they also ended their relationship with her completely and edited her out of the rest of the season.
“As a result of Dee Nguyen’s offensive comments on the Black Lives Matter movement, we have severed ties with her,” the competition series announced at the time. “Out of respect for our Challengers, we’ll air our season as planned. We strongly condemn systemic racism and stand with those raising their voices against injustice. We stand united against racism and urge you to join us in taking action to end racism, discrimination, and systemic violence.”
The Geordie Shore alum, in turn, released multiple apologies.
“The last 24hrs have made me realised [sic] what is important and that is forgiveness. I would like to offer my sincerest apology to my colleagues to whom I have hurt directly and indirectly due to my insensitive remarks,” she wrote via Instagram at the time. “Let me be clear I am a POC that cares about BLM. I believe in this movement and I’m stepping away from social media to focus on my wellbeing and mental health. This is not a goodbye, it’s a I will see you again.”
In a more formal statement, she added that she’d “love to take it back” but knew she couldn’t, apologizing to the cast and crew of the show.
“What was stated wasn’t meant to be hurtful or discriminatory in any matter. It was a knee jerk of a reaction and it’s certainly not the way that I feel nor what I meant,” Dee said. “I would love to take it back. But it is out there and to set to record straight. Racial intolerance is intolerable and unacceptable. Having had to deal with racism my entire life, ironically through all this, there is a warm feeling I have with the fact that humans are standing together to call out unacceptable comments and behaviors that in the past were rarely called on. Again, we are shown that you can be judged in a second on all social media platforms.”
Dee’s controversy was one of many. Scroll down to look back at some of the most shocking scandals on The Challenge: