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After making headlines for liking memes that mocked Parkland shooting survivors, trans people, liberal women, and immigrants on Instagram, Bachelorette contestant Garrett Yrigoyen has apologized.
Initially, Garrett had tried to shirk responsibility for the likes and claimed that his account had been tampered with, so he started a new one. According to Cosmopolitan, Garrett “appeared to have made a new Instagram account after production on the show finished, and in a post on May 27 he wrote that his old one “got hacked.”
But in an Instagram post late Thursday, Garrett admitted that wasn’t the case.
“@garrett_yrigs12 was my former Instagram handle and I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, and become more educated,” the 29-year-old medical sales rep from Reno, Nevada, wrote.
Before the controversy, Garrett writes he never realized the power of “mindlessly double tapping” on memes.
One plot twist here is that the Bachelorette herself, Becca Kufrin, reportedly voted for Clinton in the 2016 election and attended the 2017 Women’s March. In other words: she seems to be one of those liberal women Garrett finds so funny in memes.
Kufrin sat down with Entertainment Tonight Thursday to address the controversy but also asked fans to “be open to everyone” as they continued watching the season.
“I can’t fault anyone for what they believe, and who’s to say that anyone is truly what they believe in if they just double tap,” she said. “I am a strong woman and I do believe in certain things, but again, that’s what’s so great about our country — everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”
As for the fandom, it remains divided on the issue. Some people still feel like Garrett’s dreaminess outweighs his taste in memes, while others are ready to cancel him altogether despite the apology:
um. becca from the bachelorette defended garrett’s ig likes which included posts that were transphobic and made fun of the parkland kids and feminists they’re both absolutely cancelled— diana (@bellamvbIake) June 1, 2018
If that Garrett guy doesn't make it on the Bachelorette... #callmemaybe 😉— Katie Thulin (@katiet121) June 1, 2018
So.... my top two guys on the bachelorette are/were Colton and Garrett....now that all this stuff has come out I’m so bummed. Even more bummed that they get far into the season. #bachelorette #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/cF4ZqfC7zf— haydeeeeeee (@moodyfoodygrl) June 1, 2018
Okay so, I’m team Garrett on the bachelorette. I’m calling it to be him!💛— Too Sass Kass 🖤 (@too_sass_kass) June 1, 2018
Garrett from the bachelorette is my future husband facts— J (@hypenomore) May 31, 2018
The best part of this bachelorette garrett issue is the endless explanations of how Instagram works.— Maria (@wikimaria) May 31, 2018
Some fans, in particular, think Kufrin’s tepid reaction to the memes means she probably picked Garrett in the final episode:
Guess America will just have to wait and see.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.