When Grocery Store Joe lookalike, Hayden Markowitz, called Bachelorette Gabby Windy “rough around the edges” on episode three of season 19, he not only upset the Bachelorette herself, but also a whole chunk of Bachelor Nation.
Windey’s best friend and co-star, Rachel Recchia, was also livid, muttering “I’m gonna kill them,” after Windey told her about the rejections from Markowitz and two other contestants, Tyler Norris and Jake Rapini.
WATCH How It All Went Down
Markowitz told Windey, “I looked at today and my own life and what my values line up with and you know, I do have my intentions fully for Rachel. And I think you have the bubbly aspect to you, the goofy aspect and you’re a little bit more — I don’t want to say rough around the edges — but you want people to be very direct with ya’ll so I wanted to make sure that I express that to you.”
The comment from Markowitz was particularly painful for Windey because she already had concerns that she was not good enough to be the Bachelorette. After Markowitz dug right into her most vulnerable insecurities, Windey confessed to the cameras that she is often afraid that she is “too much for people.”
The ICU Nurse continued, “Hayden tells me he feels his morals more aligned with Rachel and being called ‘rough around the edges,’ like, definitely hurts. When it comes down to it, I want to be rough around the edges ’cause I know who I am on the inside and I’m f***king proud of it.”
What Does Markowitz Have to Say for Himself?
Markowitz posted a defense of his words on Instagram. He wrote, “looking back I can definitely say I may not be the most eloquent with words at times but I aimed my heart in the direction of my intentions. Extremely glad Rachel saw me for who I am inside and allowed me to continue the journey with her.”
Nowhere in the post did he actually apologize to Windey, making some fans angrier than they already were. However, Markowitz responded directly to one poster, writing, “Truthfully I meant absolutely no disrespect to Gabby what so ever I have complete respect for her and only wish her the best. My comment at absolutely zero malicious intent.”
What Are the Viewers Saying?
Although some viewers think Windey overreacted, the majority are standing behind her and calling Markowitz out. One Instagram user posted, “I haven’t felt this sick watching this show since Kalon called Ricki ‘baggage,’” referring to an event on Emily Maynard’s season of “The Bachelorette” when a contestant called the star’s young daughter “baggage.”
Another fan commented, “When having an actual personality is considered ‘rough around the edges’ 😂.” Some viewers compared Windey to previous Bachelorettes who do not “fit the mold,” i.e., Kaitlyn Bristowe and Hannah Brown. “I must be rough around the edges because these are my fave bachelorettes” one viewer replied. Another viewer commented, “Insecure men do not know how to handle hilarious queens.”
Fans were just as outspoken on Reddit. One user posted, “I absolutely detest Hayden…People should be outraged at what he said and how he treated Gabby. I really wish she’d sent him home IMMEDIATELY.” This comment followed a list of interpretations made by the user as to what Markowitz really meant by “rough around the edges,” starting with, “He doesn’t want a girl with opinions who speaks freely and openly about what she feels.”
Another viewer commented, “Men who can’t grasp the concept that it’s possible to break up with someone without critiquing them or straight up insulting them don’t deserve any kind of further inspection. He’s trash.”
Many fans were just as upset about Markowitz’s claim that Windey’s morals did not align with his. One user wrote, “That was really low. Maybe worse than ‘rough around the edges’ because … you could almost twist tough around the edges into being a positive quirk: like she’s tough. Morals not aligning straight up implies he thinks she’s a slut.”
Fans can watch the drama of this unique season of “The Bachelorette” continue on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. They can also stream it on Hulu.