Bachelor Nation was thrown into upheaval early on in the most recent season of The Bachelorette, after clear frontrunner Garrett Yrigoyen was caught liking Instagram posts that promoted alt-right memes and conspiracy theories, including the theory that the Parkland students now protesting against gun violence are crisis actors. Yrigoyen, who—spoiler alert—won the competition last week, apologized on live TV during the After the Final Rose segment of the show, when he and fiancé Becca Kufrin said that they really just want to learn and move on. “I know that he stands by his apology and he feels so bad for everyone that he did offend and he didnt mean it,” Kufrin said. “But I just want to move forward and to learn and to grow and to continue to educate ourselves.”
Blake Horstmann, the runner-up whose post-breakup devastation was also broadcast last week, has since opened up about the Instagram situation, too. “Thats not the Garrett I knew in the house,” Horstmann told Us Weekly during a conference call. “Im sure he will learn from all of this and I trust Becca, I trust her decision and I trust her character.”
He added, “I have not had the chance to talk to him, no, we have not communicated, since, you know, early in the journey. . . Maybe there will be a time in the future, but as of now, no. Ill let them have their moment.”
In a twist foreshadowing the Instagram controversy, Horstmann confessed to Kufrin during their hometown date that he and his classmates were themselves survivors of a school shooting. “It just changed my outlook on life,” he said in the episode, “and I wanted you to know why its important to me to be positive and to see life as a gift.”
Yrigoyen, meanwhile, addressed the controversy in a vague apology on After the Final Rose, and posted a separate apology note on Instagram. “Im just trying to grow and be a better person,” he told Us Weekly. “I know Ive made some mistakes and I recognized those mistakes and Im just trying to be better and move forward, but I [apologize] and Im sorry to anyone that I hurt or offended. . . I dont believe David Hogg is a crisis actor, no, I dont.” He went on to blame his problematic faves on distraction. “Im starting to read the posts now and going from there, whereas before I would kind of just scroll through and double tap the images,” he said. “So now Im reading into things before Im supporting them.”
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