Yes, we know that the big-muscled/big-titted cast of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge isn't populated with the most socially conscious—or even particularly intelligent—people. They're basically a bunch of moderately attractive horny drunk people who agree to spend their 20s, 30s, and even their 40s making a living on the MTV competition reality show. We don't expect much from them. But we didn't expect to see them in blackface, which is what happened on last night's episode when one woman, Emily, imitated her partner Ty by smearing chocolate on her face.
There's a lot of background here with their story. This particular season of The Challenge is called "The Battle of the Exes" and cast members are teamed up with people they'd previously dated. Emily and Ty were a couple during their season of The Real World: D.C. While filming The Challenge, Ty had started hooking up with another girl, and Emily admitted that it made her uncomfortable. Additionally, as one cast member reminded the audience, Emily was raised in a cult, and was extremely sheltered from the rest of the world. It doesn't necessarily excuse her actions, but it explains her ignorance. She later said that she'd never even heard of the term "blackface." After Ty became upset with her, she kept repeating, "I don't understand. I don't understand."