Viewers of The Bachelor have expressed annoyance and frustration with the disrespectful, bullying behaviors of several contestants. But two former leads of The Bachelorette pushed it a stepped forward and called out ABC for continuing to focus on and highlight those bad behaviors.
“I am, right now, so frustrated with what we saw go down last night,” Becca Kufrin said on an episode of Bachelor Happy Hour released a day after episode four aired. “I feel like this is the first time I’ve walked away from an episode feeling so disheartened, and like I said, so frustrated. I don’t like what I’m seeing. Like I don’t like the fact that — look this is The Bachelor, I understand that there’s going to be drama — but it’s getting nasty now.
“It’s getting to be just so dirty between these women with rumors circulating about somebody potentially being an escort that could ruin someone’s life. I don’t even want to talk about Victoria [Larson] that much, but she’s leaving such a bad taste in my mouth with all of her name-calling. I’m starting to question why ABC is choosing to show her continuously call these women ‘sluts,’ and ‘whores,’ and ‘hoes.’ This now — these words that people are seeing on the screen — feeds this narrative that other men, women, young people watching show think that that’s OK to call women these names. And I’m so frustrated right now.”
After feuding with Marylynn Sienna and Sarah Trott in the first three episodes, Larson turned her focus on five new arrivals in episode four. When fellow contestant Katie Thurston called out Larson for her actions, she responded by saying, “I can express myself with name calling whenever I want.”
Also during episode four, contestant Anna Redman spread an unsubstantiated rumor that one of the new arrivals works as an escort.
Kufrin’s Bachelor Happy Hour co-host Rachel Lindsay echoed her complaints about the recent direction of the show.
“What kind of audience are you trying to attract? When this person [Larson] has as much of a stage as the lead itself, who are trying to attract to your audience? I’m confused,” Lindsay said. “I don’t even know who it is. I’m with you Becca, it’s very frustrating to watch. There seems to be great women on Matt [James]’ season, Matt’s a great Bachelor, why are we giving Victoria so much air time? And the antics just keep getting worse and worse.
“It has gone beyond humor; it has gone beyond antics. It is just downright mean and I don’t want to see it, you don’t want to see it, we don’t want to see it anymore. I know you guys can do better than this. You can give us a better narrative than this.”
Lindsay and Kufrin were the leads of seasons 13 and 14 of The Bachelorette, respectively.
Victoria Larson Defended Her Actions on ‘Good Morning America’
While several of the contestants have appeared to be contrite following their negative portrayal on the show (Kit Keenan and MJ Snyder both released apologies following episode three), Larson hasn’t backed down.
In an interview on Good Morning America, she said she’s not a bully at all, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
“I meant it all in good fun,” Larson said on the show. “They knew me, and they knew my heart, and knew that I never really have ill intent. So I think they viewed it differently just because they know me… If my words or actions hurt anyone, I sincerely apologize and I’ll do better and I’ll hold myself accountable. I’m not a bully. I’m really not.”
Trott appeared to take a swipe at Larson when she shared a post on Instagram that read, “Real queens fix each other’s crowns.” A day later, Larson shared a post on Instagram with a caption that read, “Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.”