On Celebrity Big Brother in the U.S. out housemate Ross Mathews almost took home the grand prize and was voted America’s Favorite Housemate—but the gay housemate on the version of Big Brother airing in Croatia wasn’t so warmly welcomed in his house.
Matija Stainer was recently evicted from the Big Brother house and in his exit interview with the series host he made allegations that he was attacked by another housemate during his time on the show.
Stainer claims producers allowed his attacker to stay in the house and “took no public action over the incident.” He also stated that he was not only physically attacked, but also had to endure homophobic slurs and bullying from some of the other contestants in the house.
According to Gay Star News, when Stainer was introduced to his housemates, one of the contestants commented, “Vidi se odmah da voli primati”—when translated in English means: “You can clearly see he loves to take it [up the ass].” He also says he was called “pederčina” in the house, an awful gay insult that does not have an English translation but “peder” translates to “f*ggot.”
Stainer’s eviction and his stories from his time inside the house have sparked widespread criticism from viewers, who have taken to social media to publicly support Stainer.
“Is it possible that croats are so narrow-minded and so homophobic people?” said one fan on Facebook. “I’m Croatian and I’m ashamed of such people.”
LGBT rights in Croatia have expanded in recent years, but homophobic and transphobic discrimination and violence is not uncommon, especially at Pride events.
Still, anti-discrimination and hate-crime laws both address sexual orientation, and in 2014, same-sex couples were granted status equivalent to heterosexual marriage, with the exception of adoption. (Gays and lesbians can register as “partner-guardians.”)