Read Bachelorette Frontrunner Garrett’s Full Apology for Racist and Sexist Instagram Likes
After Monday's season premiere of The Bachelorette, America was torn about the frontrunner for Becca Kufrin's heart. Onscreen, Garrett Yrigoyen, the 29-year-old medical sales rep from Nevada, quickly charmed Becca, winning the show's coveted first-impression rose. But on social media, it was revealed that the suitor has a history of "liking" racist and sexist Instagram posts mocking the LGBTQ community, undocumented immigrants, and Parkland shooting survivors.
VIDEO: Bachelorette's Garrett Yrigoyen Under Fire
Now, Garrett is apologizing. "I am sorry to those who I offended, and I also take full responsibility for my 'likes' on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive," he wrote in a surprisingly remorseful Instagram post on his new account, @gy_yrigoyen, explaining that he deleted his old one. "I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself."
"I never realized the power behind a mindless double tap on Instagram and how it bears so much weight on people’s lives," he continued (read full text below).
Of course, the "double taps" themselves are not what's driving #BachelorNation's outrage but rather the indication that Garrett supports the offensive sentiments of the content he "liked." The Bachelorette contestant went on to acknowledge that he has work to do. "I will take better care moving forward to support all walks of life. Again, I sincerely apologize and am sorry for any hurt, damage, or offense I may have caused."
Garrett's apology follows an interview Becca gave to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, addressing the controversy. "I want viewers to be open to everyone, and I want them to go through this season with me, and watch my love story unfold with all of these men because that's how I went into this journey. People say and do certain things," she said in a feeble defense of Garrett. "I've done things in the past that I'm sure it wasn't the best thing."
Garrett's controversial "likes" first gained attention when former Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey tweeted screenshots of them on May 24.
"I can't fault anyone for what they believe, and who's to say that anything that anyone 'likes' is truly what they believe in if they just double tap," Becca continued about them. "I can't speak to that because it's not me. I am a strong woman and I do believe in certain things, but again, that's what's so great about our country is that everyone is entitled to their own opinions." (True, but you don't have to marry them.)
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!
And now, a theory: It's unusual for Bachelor franchise contestants to post about any drama before they've lost and left the show, and, as the episode-one front runner, Garrett is clearly not going anywhere just yet.
What's even more odd is that—while Garrett does make a heartfelt case for himself in his apology—Becca, who has publicly supported Hillary Clinton and progressive initiatives like the Women's March, came to his defense on this matter without even acknowledging the offensive nature of his social media activity. It seems sort of unnecessary ... unless, in real time, he has already made it to the final round of The Bachelorette and, possibly, become her fiancé, as already some suspect.