Hannah Brown really screwed up and is rightfully facing backlash from her fellow Bachelor Nation alums and fans alike. In case you missed it, the 25-year-old said the n-word on Instagram Live in May 2020, as she was practicing a TikTok dance and singing along to Dababy’s “Rockstar.” In subsequent clips, it seems like fans must have promptly called her out for it because she giggles an apology of sorts, saying: “I did? I’m so sorry.”
As a former Bachelorette and Dancing with the Stars contestant, Hannah’s platform has a lot of reach. Some fans pointed out that she was “just singing along” to the words that are in the song, but let’s just get this out of the way fast: That doesn’t make it acceptable. Hannah should have understood how offensive it is and just how much history and meaning is associated with that word.
It seems that Hannah got the message. She later issued another apology, but that hasn’t stopped Bachelor Nation alums from calling her out.
Hannah B.'s apology for saying the n-word wasn't enough
After saying “sorry” for singing along to Dababy’s “Rockstar” and saying the n-word, Hannah Brown later issued a more lengthy apology. She posted on Instagram Live, via CNN, “I owe you all a major apology. There is no excuse and I will not justify what I said. I have read your messages and seen the hurt I have caused. I own it all. I am terribly sorry and know that whether in public or private, this language is unacceptable. I promise to do better.”
That might be a little too late for some of her Bachelor Nation friends. According to Us Weekly, former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay (pictured right) did not think Hannah’s apology was up to snuff. “It’s easy to make a statement, it’s easy to hide behind words, but when you’re bold enough to say the N-word on camera, on your platform … then you need to be bold enough to use your face on camera and apologize in the same way that you said the word,” Rachel said in a video. “I’m not discrediting the apology, I’m just saying we can’t give people a pass for this. You have to hold people accountable for what they’re doing.”
Rachel wasn’t the only celeb who felt compelled to speak up about the racial slur.
Other Bachelor Nation stars criticized Hannah B
Multiple Bachelor Nation stars called out Hannah Brown for saying the n-word. Tyler Cameron (pictured left), who competed in Hannah’s season of The Bachelorette, wrote on Instagram (via Us Weekly): “We have a long ways to go on this issue and a lot to learn. If you find yourself getting defensive, you are part of the problem. This is not about dragging HB. This is about using your platform for reasons like this. So we can educate those who don’t get it. This is bigger than HB. This is a societal problem.” He added that he doesn’t think Hannah is racist.
Bachelor alum Rebekah “Bekah” Martinez was less kind. She discussed the issue on her Instagram Stories (via E! News) “So no, it’s not cool to just sing along the lyrics of a song especially not ON YOUR PLATFORM WITH MILLIONS OF FOLLOWERS?!! smh. it’s 2020. at least make a legitimate apology and acknowledge your behavior.”
Nick Viall said Hannah B’s actions were “deeply disappointing.” Diggy Moreland tweeted: “Watching her get quiet when she approached the N-word in the lyrics tells me she knew she shouldnt have said it. Ive heard more sincere apologies from a box of cereal.”
Former contestant Ashley Spivey also took to Twitter to expand on the situation: “Bachelornation has a racism problem and it’s not just production and contestants — it’s the audience too.”
Bachelor Nation has had other racist incidents
Reality star and attorney Rachel Lindsay was among the first to call out some of the darker sides to Bachelor Nation and its fandom. The first black Bachelorette spoke about her experience reading racist comments from fans. “By not talking about it, I think people feel empowered that they can continue to say certain things to us. If we’re ever going to fix this problem, we have to acknowledge the problem,” she said during Bachelor Peter Weber’s Women Tell All special in 2020 (via The Washington Post).
During the 2020 season, one of Peter’s contestants, Victoria Fuller, was called out for modeling for the Marlin Lives Matter organization and wearing Confederacy-inspired clothes. She has since apologized and said that she doesn’t support the White Lives Matter movement.
Hannah Brown’s controversial TikTok video has become yet another example of the need for serious conversations and serious change. It remains to be seen if she will prove to her more than 2.8 million followers that she really understands the significance of her actions.
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