ABC was praised for finally showcasing the first-ever black lead on “The Bachelor” franchise this season, but just two weeks into the historic season of “The Bachelorette,” the network is in hot water for casting a contestant whose alleged racist tweets surfaced online.
A slew of tweets allegedly from contestant Lee Garrett’s Twitter account were leaked this week on social media, including one that reads, “What’s the difference between the NAACP and the KKK? Wait for it…One has the sense of shame to cover their racist a– faces.”
ABC declined to comment. When approached by Variety, the network would not confirm the authenticity of the tweets, which appear to be taken directly from Garrett’s Twitter.
An insider tells Variety that the network only learned about the tweets when they were approached by the media on Wednesday, and had no prior knowledge of their existence, despite background checks for contestants who go through a vetting process when being cast on the reality show. Though it seems a broadcaster would thoroughly check social media during casting, Garrett’s accounts are private.
Garrett is a 30-year-old singer/songwriter from Nashville, Tenn., who is still in the running on the ABC dating show, vying for “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay’s heart. Though his Twitter account is private, his self-written bio describes himself as “pleasantly offensive.”
Garrett’s alleged tweets — which were posted by a Twitter user on Tuesday evening — were posted in 2015 and 2016. In one of the tweets, the contestant appears to support deeming Black Lives Matter as a “terrorist group,” while in another, he supposedly asks, “When is the last time you actually saw a pretty feminist? There is a reason for this.” Referring to Hillary Clinton and O.J. Simpson, another tweet reads, “Hillary is the millennial’s version of O.J.”
Read the alleged tweets below: