Garrett Yrigoyen, a 29-year-old medical device salesman from Reno, Nev., got Becca Kufrin's first impression rose during The Bachelorette's season premiere that aired Monday night, marking him as the man who's probably engaged to Becca right now.
According to HuffPost, Yrigoyen reportedly liked hateful social media posts mocking feminists, trans people and immigrants and promoting a far-right conspiracy theory that the Parkland school shooting was faked to drum up support for gun control.
Yrigoyen's since-deleted Instagram account liked numerous memes posted by the account of a conservative clothing company called Merica Supply Co. The posts include hegemonic "just-kidding-but-not-really" jokes like this one about undocumented immigrant children:
This one that uses Caitlyn Jenner to mock trans people:
And this one that posits conservative irritant Tomi Lahren as a desirable woman:
Perhaps most disturbingly, he liked a post by another conservative clothing company called The 4th American that accuses high school mass shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg of being a "crisis actor," an actor paid to advance an agenda to the media by claiming to have witnessed an event that didn't happen.
But the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting did happen — seventeen people, including fourteen high school students, were murdered by a gunman with a semi-automatic rifle. By liking this post, Yrigoyen is endorsing the idea that an individual's right to own high-powered weaponry is more important than the lives of children, and also that everyone who says that the shooting did happen is a liar. Families of the victims have been harassed by gun rights supporters.
Members of Bachelor Nation condemned Yrigoyen's post history. Former Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey was the first to share the posts he liked, tweeting last week "Can we do a better job of social media deep dives on the dudes that try out for #thebachelorette - FYI douchebags we can see your likes."
She added that ABC should not give platforms to bigots, which ABC actually has decided to stop doing.
How about just not casting people that have hateful views and giving them an even bigger platform?!?— Ashley Spivey (@AshleySpivey) May 25, 2018
Bekah Martinez from Arie's season got at a very important point about how even though Garrett didn't create or share the posts himself, by following these accounts and liking what they post he's endorsing their content.
yooo you can say they're "just memes" but they're just hateful, ignorant memes. the shit you like/follow on the internet IS a reflection of your deeper beliefs and values. if he doesn't find truth in that ugly bullshit, why would he like/follow those kind of accounts? don't @ me— bekah martinez ♡ (@whats_ur_sign_) May 29, 2018
Last season of The Bachelorette was the first with a black lead, Rachel Lindsay, but the show had an open racist in the cast named Lee Garrett, who had posted vile things from his Twitter account. ABC and Warner Bros., the studio that produces the Bachelor franchise, were criticized for not vetting him. Then during The Bachelor last season, contestant Maquel Cooper was found to have posed in a racist costume in a photo posted to Instagram, another failure in the vetting process. And now we have this guy.
UPDATE: Yrigoyen apologized for liking the posts, writing in a statement "I am sorry to those who I offended, and I also take full responsibility for my 'likes' on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive," Garrett wrote on his new Instagram, after deleting his former account. "This is all new to me... I never realized the power behind a mindless double tap on Instagram and how it bears so much weight on people's lives. I did not mean any harm by any of it. My Instagram 'likes' were not a true reflection of me and my morals."
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.