Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s hit show The Bachelorette, opens every season with the same phrase:
“This is the most controversial season ever.”
Every year the show is full of drama, tears and occasionally, love. But this year Harrison was right. ABC’s 29-year-old bachelorette, a fiery Canadian named Kaitlyn Bristowe, is under fire. Millions of fans have gotten heated over Bristow’s decision to sleep with one of the contestants, Nick Viall, while she still had eight other suitors.
In other words, she had (semi) casual sex with someone she was dating, and America is up in arms. Some fans are so angry, Bristowe says she’s received death threats and it’s affecting her family.
One tweet read outloud by Harrison on air called Bristowe a “selfish whore” who should “crawl in a hole and die.” Bristowe added that that tweet was written by a mother, which made it particularly painful to receive.
The tweets and direct messages Harrison read are beyond brutal. Here’s the first with names redacted (NSFW):
Here’s another one that’s similarly disturbing:
Here’s a string of angry DMs that Bristowe says a mother sent her.
Fans were shocked and disgusted as Harrison read the messages aloud.
So were Bristowe’s former suitors.
And as Harrison read them, Bristowe fought back tears.
“I’m so fine with people disagreeing with me or having their opinions — that’s OK,” Bristowe told Harrison during Monday night’s Men Tell All episode. “The hardest part is it affects my family. I like to think that it doesn’t matter what people think about me … but when it’s thousands and thousands [of comments] just pouring in of people hating … I get death threats. That hurts.”
Bristowe isn’t the first Bachelor or Bachelorette star to sleep with a contestant before the final rose. But she was the first to do so publicly, and the backlash suggests there’s still a serious double standard when it comes to what’s acceptable for men versus women in the dating world. Specifically, there seems to be a harsh double standard when it comes to sex.
There’s one final episode left before Bristowe chooses the man she wants to marry; one of the remaining men is the person she slept with, Viall.
Viall has been vocal about supporting Bristowe on Twitter. He notes that the double standard needs to stop.
“Kaitlyn showed a lot of courage by admitting 2 having sex on national TV knowing that she will be unfairly judged by some,” Viall tweeted on June 22 shortly after the controversial, intimate episode between him and Bristowe aired.
“Both men and women have an equal right to sex without judgment.”
Here’s the clip from The Men Tell All.
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