MTV’s The Challenge has issued an official statement responding to retired cast member Leroy Garrett’s video addressing an incident involving castmate Camila Nakagawa and her “racist” and “violent” behavior towards him.
Leroy, who appeared in 12 seasons of the show, criticized the show’s response to that incident during the Dirty 30 season, saying they didn’t address it as they should have and even allowed Camila to remain a part of the season, which she eventually won.
MTV’s statement arrived after Camila appeared on Instagram Live, commenting about what Leroy said and asking those watching what she could do.
With the recent statement that MTV’s The Challenge released, another former cast member, Sarah Rice, commented as she continues to advocate for helping castmates with mental health after they’ve appeared on the show.
MTV’s The Challenge responds to Leroy Garrett video
On Wednesday, November 17, MTV’s The Challenge shared an official response to Leroy’s video addressing the Dirty 30 incident he said has been weighing on him for years. That incident involved a “racist rant” from his castmate Camila Nakagawa toward him during an episode, which Leroy felt wasn’t addressed by the show, but instead left up to him.
The Challenge Instagram post included screenshots of the statement response they originally released on Twitter.
“MTV and Bunim/Murray were saddened by Leroy’s recount of his experience on The Challenge in 2017. We apologize to Leroy, a beloved member of our family. While we sought to support cast and address the incident on air at the time, it’s now clear we didn’t do enough,” the first part of the statement reads.
“We have learned from this experience and are continuing to double down on our education programs for all cast and crew to ensure a safe, respectful and inclusive set free of discrimination and harassment in any form,” the second screenshot of their statement reads.
Sarah Rice comments about The Challenge’s ‘mental and emotional toll’
Several comments appear in the Instagram post above from former The Challenge winner Sarah Rice, who now works as a therapist. She mentioned advocating for the mental health of her castmates and other reality TV stars in previous interviews, saying the show took a toll on her, and she also realized how it could affect others.
“As a former cast member, I have witnessed firsthand the mental and emotional toll the challenge takes on the cast and crew. Although not everyone’s experience is negative, many people have and continue to experience trauma and lingering effects as a result of their participation on the show,” Sarah said in part of her comments.
“As a mental health professional, I am deeply committed to advocating for the cast and crew and will continue to push for mandatory aftercare (in the form of individual, AND CONFIDENTIAL therapy sessions) for all participants,” she continued, also asking castmates to reach out to her for support.
Sarah appeared as Leroy’s castmate in five seasons of The Challenge but wasn’t among castmates during the Dirty 30 season. They last appeared as castmates in the Rivals III season, Sarah’s final season of the show, which was filmed in late 2015.
Camila responded to Leroy’s video on IG Live
Following Leroy releasing his video on Instagram and before MTV’s statement above, Camila Nakagawa went on her Instagram Live to respond to Leroy’s video.
“I don’t want forgiveness. I’m not the victim. What I did was wrong. It is wrong. I want to know what I can do. I don’t condone racism, and I don’t condone what I did,” Camila said in tears during her video.
“From the bottom of my heart, I know Leroy doesn’t care about me, and that’s fine. It’s his right. I probably wouldn’t care about someone that did that to me too. But I always had a special place for him in my heart. I always loved him so much, and I don’t even understand why I did what I did. If regret could kill, I’d be dead for sure,” she said.
The incident, which Leroy said had been weighing on him for years, occurred in MTV’s The Challenge: Dirty 30 season in 2017. During Episode 9, Camila, who had been drinking, became belligerent and lashed out at Leroy after overhearing him talking with some of his castmates in a bedroom at The Challenge house.
From there, she began to curse at Leroy and launched a “racist rant” towards him. After getting hit by a pillow thrown by castmate Johnny Bananas, Camila erupted further, asking who threw it and ultimately hitting Leroy with the pillow before security pulled her away.
In his video, Leroy said he felt production didn’t do much to handle the situation or address it after it happened, leaving it up to him to confront Camila the next day for her behavior. She continued competing for the season and was one of the two winners, claiming $450,000 in prize money.
“I’m more than open to having a conversation with you about how we can make change happen. The ball is in your court. All eyes are on you,” Leroy said to MTV and The Challenge in his video addressing the Dirty 30 incident.
The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.