Why is ABC torturing Becca K?
Last season on The Bachelor, the perfectly harmless-seeming Midwesterner got her dream proposal, only to be dumped on television when Arie realized that he had picked the wrong girl. For Becca, it was either the worst moment of her young life or a necessary humiliation on the road back to reality television. After all, that brutal breakup gave Becca the storyline she needed to effortlessly score The Bachelorette gig. Anyone who has forged a career for themselves off of The Bachelor franchise and FabFitFun boxes will agree that being known internationally as the dumped girl is a small price to pay for a starring role.
Of course, Becca definitely thinks that all of that humiliation—and being dumped on primetime by a mediocre race car driver for a girl who barely speaks sure is humiliating—is behind her. While she seems to be contractually obligated to bring up her Arie heartbreak as often as possible, she’s probably doing so under the assumption that lightning won’t strike twice. Unfortunately for Becca, Bachelor producers appear to have as much sympathy for their contestants as The Hunger Games Gamemakers have for their tributes.
I’m not saying that the people working behind the scenes over at ABC are cruel, but the franchise does seem to have moved away from matchmaking into cherry-picking the suitors who are most likely to torture the person they’re pursuing. So it’s no surprise that Garrett, the medical sales rep who snagged the first impression rose during last night’s Bachelorette premiere, has been promptly called out as a misogynistic, transphobic, anti-immigrant asshole whose opinions appear to be completely at odds with Becca’s #Resistance social media presence. Apparently, Surprise! That guy you really liked is alt-right! is the new Surprise! Your fiancé is dumping you for someone else on national TV!
While ABC may very well try to spin The Bachelorette frontrunner’s offensive politics as a vetting oversight, Garrett’s casting comes right out of The Bachelor playbook.
Last season on The Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, the show’s first black star, was saddled with a racist time bomb named Lee. A cursory scan of Lee’s social media posts would have revealed that he and Lindsay were fundamentally incompatible, leading viewers to speculate that ABC cast him specifically in order to fuel racial tensions. This forced plot line ended up making everyone, including Lindsay, extremely uncomfortable, to the point that the show reportedly made changes in their vetting process, “checking contestant’s social media feeds before they are cast.”
Not only does this new Garrett scandal prove that that’s BS, but it’s seriously unlikely that the people who cast Lee didn’t know what was up. After all, as Amy Kaufman revealed in her book Bachelor Nation, Bachelor vetting is intense and thorough—the process includes days of interviews, a meeting with a private investigator and a medical exam. We’d have to be pretty stupid to believe that, with all of this exhaustive research and careful consideration, no one would have bothered to go back a few months on a would-be contestant’s Twitter account.
Even if The Bachelorette team first discovered scrolling in 2017, the Lee incident ensured that they would never again be able to plead social media ignorance. Which is why this new revelation, about a guy who, according to promos, makes it pretty far in Becca’s season, is so ridiculous. TL;DR—Bachelorette producers are at it again, most likely planting offensive contestants at the expense of their female protagonists.
But some couples have different political affiliations, you might be thinking. What makes Garrett’s casting so cruel? To answer that, let’s take a gander at the social media posts themselves—which, to be fair, Garrett only appears to have “liked” on Instagram. He might not be an active alt-right meme maker, but Garrett’s account has smashed the like button on an absurd number of offensive posts, including ones insisting that David Hogg is a crisis actor, mocking transgender people, and shitting on Colin Kaepernick. The likes were first brought to light by an anonymous Instagram account, which shared the screenshots with a lengthy caption, concluding, “yes this is real. You can fact check now before this ignorant and delusional man unlikes them.”
“Update,” the Instagram user added, “literally right after he got exposed he deleted his ig account.”
On Monday, Huffington Post “independently found other posts that [Garrett] Yrigoyen’s account had liked from the same Merica Supply Co. Instagram page.” Their article continued, “On the Merica Supply Co. page, he consistently liked memes that mocked feminists and transgender people and made light of violence against undocumented immigrants. One image his account liked appears to ridicule ‘leftist women’ for being fat; another jokes about U.S. military addressing undocumented immigration by throwing small children over the border wall.”
Ashley Spivey, a former Bachelor contestant who clearly does not take this shit lightly, amplified the scandal. “Can we do a better job of social media deep dives on the dudes that try out for #thebachelorette,” Spivey tweeted. “FYI douchebags we can see your likes.” Responding to a commenter who quickly called producer manipulation, Spivey weighed in, “I want to believe that maybe she has encouraged him to think differently or something along those lines but now I’m just so upset that instead of focusing on the love story this is the shit we are gonna have to rehash ALL season.”
In light of the recent news that ABC has finally canceled Roseanne, Garrett’s outing is a great reminder that the network has still routinely given platforms to people with hateful beliefs in the hopes of higher ratings. After all, the clash between Garrett and Becca, a woman who’s been outspoken about her liberal politics and love for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, is sure to be epic. I’d suggest tuning in to whatever extended and completely avoidable drama the producers manage to stir up between them before complimenting ABC on its newfound moral compass.
In the words of Ashley Spivey, who retweeted ABC’s Tuesday statement canceling Roseanne, “It’s almost as if ABC realizes that these abhorrent and repugnant values have no place on their shows…@ABCNetwork needs to address the Garrett situation before this gets more out of hand.”