“She was trying to convince me to speak and to discuss the issue on-air. To me the impact of the moment came from it being a silent protest," Merlin told news.com.au back in 2016.
"She’s on the public record on several occasions since, declaring her personal support for the stance that I took — and saying she regrets not being more overtly supportive at the time. It was a difficult situation that I put her in but I respect and am grateful for her for taking that position in the media in the years since the protest."
After multiple failed attempts to get Merlin to speak, the reality star was taken off stage by two security guards and there was a live cross to the contestants inside the Big Brother house.
In the same interview with news.com.au, Merlin explained that while one security guard was complimentary of his protest, the other was not.
But subjective opinions of the protest aside, there's no denying it had quite the impact on the reality TV format.
WATCH: Tully Smyth and Drew Anthony reunite in the Big Brother house (Story continues after video)
Despite what the name suggests, reality TV can exist in a vacuum that is separate from the "real world". It was for this reason that Merlin chose the platform to make the statement he did.
"It was really about making a statement that putting 14 people in a mansion and plying them with alcohol isn’t reality. It was about disrupting that mainstream media phenomenon to deliver a message — and to make people question the whole concept of reality TV — and question what’s really important," Merlin told news.com.au.
He went on to reveal that the producers were mad at the him for not involving them with his plans from the start, claiming they could have worked with him to make it a reality. But Merlin explained that the whole point of the protest was to "hijack the show and deliver a message - not to orchestrate a fake protest".
Interestingly, the episode received the best ratings of the season.
So what did Merlin get up to after his significant protest?
Putting his money where his mouth was, Merlin spent the 12 months following the show campaigning for refugees - speaking at protests, schools and universities, doing interviews and meeting with politicians. He visited detention centres and met with detained as well as recently released families.
Merlin has a wife and two kids and is the Regional Vice President at the largest enterprise cloud technology company, Salesforce.
"Fair to say I’m well on the way to being a middle-aged corporate dad — in the best possible way," he told news.com.au. "Very grateful for the life I have."