Eichner appeared in a season 23 episode to host a group date. During a conversation with the former football player, he said, “I’m gay. I know that’s a shock Colton and that I think you should look into. Maybe you’re the first gay Bachelor and we don’t even know.”
While Underwood laughed it off at the time, the clip has taken on new meaning in the wake of his Good Morning America appearance. During a one-on-one interview with Robin Roberts, the former Bachelor proclaimed “I’m gay.”
Underwood is now the only lead to publicly come out in the dating franchise’s history. Viewers first met him on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette before he appeared on Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor.
As the clip went viral on social media, it caught the attention of Eichner himself. He wrote on Twitter and Instagram, “I’m happy for [Colton Underwood]. If you’re gay, be gay! I’ve been gay forever & I love it!”
The Billy on the Street host later joked on Twitter, “Here’s how Hollywood works: Colton’s gonna get a GLAAD Award before I do.”
Underwood, who revealed he came to terms with his sexual orientation earlier this year, responded to Eichner, “Love you. Love this (now) and now I love being gay.”
Underwood Publicly Apologized to Ex-Girlfriend Cassie Randolph
While Eichner and others celebrated Underwood’s announcement, many took to social media to say it did not negate his actions toward ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph.
“I’d like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up, I made a lot of bad choices,” he told Roberts, revealing he did love the speech pathologist.
The former couple announced their split last year. Shortly after, Randolph filed a restraining order against Underwood for stalking and harassment, including placing a tracker on her car. The speech pathologist dismissed the order after the two came to an agreement. Underwood has since moved to Colorado.
Acknowledging his “internal fight going on,” he continued, “I would just say that I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I wish I would’ve been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
He still faces calls for greater accountability and to address his actions with more specificity.
Underwood’s Experience as a Gay Man Will Be Featured in a Netflix Series
Underwood is letting fans in on his journey, with multiple outlets reporting he will star in a new Netflix reality series dedicated to his experience as a gay man.
While the exact details of the show remain unknown, Variety is reporting Olympian Gus Kenworthy will serve as a “guide, of sorts, for Underwood.”
TMZ added “several other prominent members of the LBGTQ+ community” will also make an appearance, with filming already underway.
Netflix declined Heavy’s request for comment or confirmation.