Loved by some housemates and disliked by others, Balusa won over viewers of ITV’s rebooted series with her honesty and willingness to challenge behaviour she deemed offensive within the house. Her exit from the show on Friday (10 November) shocked her fellow contestants and the studio audience, who had been chanting “Trish to win” throughout the live show.
On Sunday (12 November), however, Balusa shared a statement to Instagram apologising after a series of offensive tweets from 2012 re-emerged on social media. Fans had been left shocked when they discovered the tweets, which included homophobic and anti-Asian language, as well as racist slurs. Balusa had been posting on Twitter after her eviction, but deleted her account when the tweets were discovered.
In her post, the 33-year-old apologised to “marginalised groups” for “perpetuating harmful stereotypes” in her tweets. ITV, meanwhile, confirmed that Balusa will not be appearing on the live spin-off show Big Brother: Late & Live, despite it being routine for the recently evicted contestant to appear on the show after being booted out of the series.
Balusa’s statement read: “I’m aware that some very concerning old tweets of mine have resurfaced, and I would like to sincerely apologise for the harmful stereotypes I perpetuated and the pain I have caused to the marginalised communities and groups of people mentioned.”
“There are no excuses for the ignorance that I showed and I am deeply disappointed, embarrassed and ashamed that I once made such comments. I have come a very long way since by educating myself and being educated by others on the impact and harm those views cause.”
While appearing on the show, which often puts society issues under microscope, Balusa was vocal about sexism and racist microaggressions she experienced in life and in the Big Brother house. She had spoken out about the way she was labelled an “aggressive” Black woman by other contestants, and had been unafraid to brand fellow contestant Paul a “bully”.
Balusa continued in her statement: “It is part of the reason why I am so passionate about standing up for others and holding myself to a high standard of responsibility and accountability for my actions.”
She concluded that she understood that her fans “feel disappointed” in her. “I know apologies can seem convenient but I mean it from the bottom of my hear: I am truly sorry. I hope it is possible for you to offer me grace and believe people can change.”
Balusa has said that she is “committed” to the person she is “now”. “The person you have known [me] as – someone who speaks up, stands for what they believe in and always open to growth and accountability,” she wrote.
When Balusa entered the Big Brother house, she said in her entry interview that a big part of why she wanted to join the show was to “humanise refugees and immigrants, especially in this political climate”.
“I want people to see that behind the stats and figures, there are real humans. We are important simply because we exist, not only when we participate in capitalism. We matter because we are alive and breathing – no human is illegal!”
On social media, fans of Balusa remained divided over her apology. “Trish has apologised. I’m not personally interested in burning someone at the stake for things they posted years ago when they’ve clearly shown growth in that time. I believe we have to allow people to learn and change and it’s obvious Trish is not that same person anymore,” one comment read.
Another wrote that they “choose to believe” the person they had seen on TV for the past five weeks, rather than the person behind the resurfaced Tweets.
“Trish has put out a statement and I choose to believe the person she is today,” they wrote. “We need to allow her grace and remember the person we have seen the past 5 weeks.”
However, many fans have expressed disappointment after seeing the resurfaced tweets.
“I feel duped. Asian hate, homophobia & unnecessary ableist comments too & then wants to talk about the Tories?” added another Twitter/X user.
Big Brother airs Sunday to Friday at 9pm on ITV2.