‘Bachelor’ stars respond to backlash after receiving thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief loans meant for small businesses

A side by side image of 'Bachelor' stars Arie Luyendyk Jr., Tayshia Adams, and Colton Underwood.
Arie Luyendyk Jr., Tayshia Adams, and Colton Underwood all received PPP loans. Jean Baptiste Lacroix / Getty Images; ABC via Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

“Bachelor” stars Tayshia Adams and Colton Underwood have responded after coming under fire for receiving PPP loans meant to keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to TMZ, Adams’ representative said, “As a business owner, television and podcast host, and brand ambassador, Tayshia obtained a PPP Loan that enabled her to hire an employee, to whom she offers market-based pay and benefits.”

Adams’ rep corroborated their previous statement in an email to Insider.

“Tayshia used the loan to hire someone who was previously unemployed by a media company and has continued to offer them market rate with benefits after using the loan in full on said employee,” they wrote.

Underwood’s representative offered a similar response to TMZ, telling the outlet that it was Underwood’s nonprofit (the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation, which supports people with cystic fibrosis) that applied for the loan, following the cancellation of fundraising events during the pandemic.

“None of the PPP went directly to Colton,” the statement to TMZ said. “In fact, Colton has never received any form of payment from the foundation, all of the proceeds go directly to people living with cystic fibrosis.”

Representatives for Underwood didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for additional comment.

Several ‘Bachelor’ stars came under fire for receiving PPP loans

Adams and Underwood, as well as former “Bachelor” Arie Luyendyk, Jr., his wife Lauren Burnham, and “Bachelorette” alum Dale Moss received backlash after “Bachelor” subreddit members discovered that the stars had applied for PPP loans.

Per the US Small Business Administration’s website, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were designed to help small businesses keep workers employed during the pandemic.

Reddit users discovered Monday that Luyendyk, Jr. and Burnham received over $20,000 in loans for their LLC, Instagram Husband.

-Jacob Brogan (@Jacob_Brogan) June 28, 2021

Redditors also realized that Adams and Underwood had received similar loans as well. Moss also applied for a $20,000 loan, but his funds don’t appear to have been disbursed yet.

-felix ✨ (@flixflexflux) June 28, 2021

Representatives for Moss and Burnham didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment. Luyendyk, Jr.’s representative declined to comment.

After news of the loans began spreading on social media, fans and other “Bachelor” alums weighed in.

Jason Tartick, who appeared on Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette” and is currently engaged to franchise alum and host Kaitlyn Bristowe, broke down the significance of the PPP loans in an Instagram video. Tartick said he almost applied for a loan himself, but didn’t end up going through with it because he believes it’s “not fair.”

“Bachelor in Paradise” alum Chris Bukowski wrote in an Instagram comment on TMZ’s post about the PPP loan controversy that the system was “broken.”

Former “Bachelor” star Nick Viall addressed the story in a tweet, writing “What’s legal isn’t always right.”

-Nick Viall (@viallnicholas28) June 28, 2021

“Applying for a PPP is both savvy and sh-tty,” he concluded.