During a recent interview, former The Challenge: Fresh Meat II star Brandon Nelson spoke about the racism he experienced during one of his seasons of MTV’s competition series.
At least one incident, according to Nelson, never made it into any episodes of the season, unlike another well-known incident that his castmate experienced in an episode.
The 38-year-old addressed the topic after it came up regarding his former castmate Leroy Garrett, who made a public video months ago acknowledging a racist incident from his Dirty 30 season that production didn’t intervene in or protect him from.
Brandon discusses racism he endured in Cutthroat
Former Challenge star Brandon Nelson recently participated in an interview with Leek Monroe. According to Monroe’s Instagram bio, he’s a motivational speaker, a sexual assault survivor, and Certified NAMI Recovery Support Group Facilitator.
During part of their interview, which appears in full on Instagram (below), Monroe brought up Brandon’s castmate Leroy Garrett. The latter spoke out about MTV’s failure to protect him from Camila Nakagawa’s racist and violent attack during the Dirty 30 season. Garrett said that incident ultimately led to his retirement from the MTV competition series.
Brandon said he still chats with Leroy every few weeks. He then revealed that Camila was racist to him before Leroy’s incident, and one incident never made the final cut for the episode.
“We talked about it. It’s online. But no, she called me a n***a on Cutthroat on her first season on The Challenge,” Nelson shared, adding, “And she was like, ‘No, it’s not even like that. Oh my God, you guys are taking it-.’ Ask Chet [Cannon] because Chet had my back.”
Chet Cannon, a cast member from The Real World: Brooklyn, was another of Brandon’s castmates during that Cutthroat season.
“Even the producers came and talked to me and was like ‘You straight?’ Blah Blah Blah, and this and that. I’m like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ It was my second season. I’m like, ‘I’m not dealing with this s**t,’ so,” Nelson said.
Monroe brought up a comment someone made in the live chat during the interview with Brandon about something Camila said that made it into the episode. Brandon then recalled that second incident from Cutthroat.
“Oh yeah, so it happened twice on that season,” he told Monroe. “So when she picked me, she’s like, ‘OK, let’s add some color to the team. I’ll pick Brandon.'”
“You can even see my look when I looked back at her. I was like, ‘Man, let me just go and walk up here.’ I was like, ‘What the f**k?'” he shared, adding that later that season, she also used the word “n***a.”
Brandon appeared in five seasons, nearly was on spin-off
Brandon, who mentioned during the interview he’s now married with kids, was originally a cast member on the Fresh Meat II season of The Challenge.
During the interview, he said Bunim/Murray created the Fresh Meat concept for people who failed to get onto the Real World or Bad Girls Club shows. Camila came to the show from the Spring Break Challenge, a spinoff of MTV’s show which aired ahead of the Fresh Meat II season.
Brandon’s second season was Cutthroat, which he referenced when talking about Camila’s remarks. He also appeared in Rivals and Battle of the Seasons (2012), where he was one of the Fresh Meat stars with Camila, Eric “Big Easy” Banks, and Cara Maria Sorbello.
His last Challenge season on MTV was Free Agents in 2014, which also featured Camila and Leroy. Seven years later, Brandon was chosen as an alternate cast member for The Challenge: All Stars 2 spinoff season on Paramount Plus.
He said he flew out to the location and enjoyed some “good food” but never made it onto the final show. Other alternates for the season included Emilee Fitzpatrick, Syrus Yarbrough, and Jemmye Carroll.
The Challenge is currently on hiatus on MTV and is expected back in 2022. The Challenge: All Stars episodes are available on Paramount Plus.