On Thursday, Zach Anner dismissed rumors that Oprah Winfrey's cable network, OWN, tried to prevent him from winning its reality TV contest. Allegations of vote-rigging first surfaced after another contestant, Doctor Phyllis, gained an extraordinary amount of votes in a very short time. But Anner told Time the rumors were "crazy":
I couldn't see any reason why Oprah would do that. She's probably too busy like helping children and building schools and stuff. It's just crazy the way rumors spread on the Internet. I'm really grateful to all my supporters but I doubt that Oprah is against me. It just doesn't make any sense.
Winfrey's network has promised to award one contestant with his or her own TV show. But because Anner has cerebral palsy, some accused the network of discrimination. As it stands, the argument could be moot because Anner has since surpassed Doctor Phyllis.
Interestingly, Anner himself may have benefited from vote rigging. On Thursday, a user from the imageboard website 4chan disclosed an elaborate plot to boost Anner's votes. Though neither claim has been substantiated, officials at OWN are investigating into the possibility of vote-rigging.