‘Bachelor’ Contestant on Colton Underwood’s Season Apologizes for Offensive Tweets
Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor is still weeks away, but one contestant's already embroiled in controversy.
Tracy Shapoff issued an apology after fans uncovered offensive tweets of hers, which included racist comments, fat-shaming, use of the R-word and even a few digs at The Bachelor. She acknowledged that she used "extremely hurtful words, and apologized for offending anyone. Shapoff claims she's grown since she tweeted those sentiments.
"I want to start by expressing my sincerest apologizes for the extremely hurtful words that I said many years ago," she wrote on Instagram. "I'm so sorry for those who I have offended. I am beyond mortified that I ever had those thoughts and then proceeded to express them. By no means does this reflect the person who I am today. To the people who do not know me, I am a loving, kind, thoughtful, generous, and compassionate woman. I am not mean-hearted or hurtful."
Shapoff's statement continued, "The people I have always surrounded myself with are very diverse and come from all over the world. I have a huge heart and a very open mind. In the many years since writing those tweets, I have made a conscious effort not to be judgmental and to be accepting of all people. I have gone into a field of work where I am able to help women and men have positive images of themselves, their bodies, and feel beautiful in who they are. It is the most rewarding feeling being able to work in such a diverse field. It shows me the beauty in all people and I am so lucky to have this opportunity."
The Bachelor contestant said she could not "defend any of the words I have tweeted."
"I just want to deeply apologize and learn from my mistakes. I wholeheartedly reject all of those sentiments," she said. "That being said, I take full responsibility for my tweets and will use this as a learning experience. I hope that we can continue to spread love and kindness in the world."
ABC has not yet weighed in on the scandal, which is not the first the show has faced. During Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, Garrett Yrigoyen – whom she ultimately settled down with – was found to have liked transphobic memes, as well as ones accusing Parkland shooting survivors of being crisis actors.
Before that, Lee Garrett, a contestant on Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette was found to have tweeted several racist messages over the years. He apologized when confronted about his tweets.
The Bachelor returns to ABC on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET.